Winter driving makes people nervous

Winter+driving+makes+people+nervous

Cam Crouch

BY CAM CROUCH (‘19) AND ELIJAH SMITH (‘18)

The alarm is blasting while you lay in your cozy, warm bed. The temperatures outside are freakishly cold, and the wind is alarmingly brisk. The weather reported three inches of snow overnight, and that is exactly what had occurred. Everyone was expecting a snow day, or at least a two-hour delay at the bare minimum, but that was not gifted to you by the superintendent. You get ready and finally walk outside and make the realization that your whole entire road has not even been plowed yet. You nervously hop in the car and pull out of the driveway.

Before you start your engine, consider the following driving tips to avoid getting in crash.

Driving in snow or sleet is not something to take lightly at all. According to studies from Marquette University, a report of over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement annually. Crashes are becoming more and more frequent within the Licking County area this winter, as there have been frequent wrecks on OH-16 and OH-37.

Winter driving is a challenging task at hand for a good majority of drivers. Caution must be taken before you hit the road. First, you should make sure that you completely clear the sheet of ice that has frozen on your windshield and create an undoubtedly clear vision for yourself before you leave the driveway.

The next step is driving on that poorly plowed road. As a driver, in the back of your mind, you should make the realization that there is a sneaky sheet of ice hiding under the snow on the path you are taking. If you don’t have a car that is all-wheel drive, then you are at a disadvantage. Although, there is no reason to panic as long as you pay attention and don’t let your ego out-drive the conditions.

While driving, you should also leave yourself plenty of room to brake and stop. Although, if you lose control of your car and it starts spinning out, there is a quick fix.

“Turn your wheel the direction the rear of your car is facing and then even it out,” junior Ethan Tackett said. You should also avoid pumping the breaks, especially if your car is manual, as you should push down and hold the brakes to gain traction back.

Another student who drives a Barracuda from the 1960s, junior Jim Batey, also has a very good tip for amateur winter drivers who don’t have manual braking.

“Keep the wheel straight and relax, the more you think about wrecking is going to stress you out as a driver and create a higher chance for that to happen,” Batey said.

As long as you can keep yourself under control and not panic at the wheel, then you will be successful on the roads.

“Drive slow. Most people’s problem is that they are going 90 mph when there is 4 inches of snow on the ground,” junior Tommy Wolfe said. “Driving slow changes the game.”

As long as you take these precautions, you should be a safe winter driver in the future.