Winter Driving Tips

You might not think that anything could happen to you, but what if you were that one person who gets into a serious accident because you were not respecting the weather conditions? Today the snow is here and it’s time to drive with precaution.

 “I felt like I should pay attention,” said junior Brandon Skelding, “I was going 20 miles [per hour].”

 Blizzard conditions struck the night that Skelding was going out to enjoy a hockey team dinner. There was about 8 inches of snow on the ground and the roads had not been plowed. Luckily, Skelding did not get stuck in the snow.

Tip one: If you get stuck in snow, do not slam on the gas to get unstuck right away. This will only cause the tires to dig in deeper. Instead turn your wheels back and forth to clear some snow away. Then you should shovel infront on the path where your tires will go. Spread sand, salt, gravel or kitty litter in the path to get traction. Finally, shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you are in gear, touch the gas until you are able to get going.

 “[The worst winter driving condition was] driving back from the Cities. [I] picked up my mom at the airport,” said psychology teacher Anthony Boerger, “This was eight, nine years ago and it was freezing rain. The road was so slick. I swear we drove 10 mph for the last 40 miles. It took us probably seven hours to get from the cities to Black River.”

 Although maintaining cautious speeds is very important in driving carefully, that’s not the only issue that arises.

 “I don’t like it when it’s dark and snowing really hard,” said senior Danton Green, “You are not able to use your bright [lights].”

 With two years experience of driving in snow, Green has come to realize that she does not like slush and it’s not just because it makes her car dirty.

 “I swerve around on the road and slide,” said Green, “I get nervous and panic.”

Tip two: If your rear end starts to slide on slush or ice, take your foot off of the gas pedal. Right away, steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle under control. From there you should either pump your brakes gently if you have standard brakes or apply steady pressure to the brakes if you have anti-lock brakes.

 Sometimes, things don’t work out the way you plan and something goes wrong. It’s best to be prepared.

 “I have a little winter kit that I throw in the back of the car when winter comes,” said Boerger. “It’s got a flash light and hand warmers, jumper cables, blankets just in case I do get stuck somewhere, but I’ve never had to use it yet.”

Tip three: “Take it easy,” said Boerger, “It’s better to arrive there safe and in one piece than dead.”