Driving Tips For the Winter

Makala Vincent, Opinion & Student Life Editor

As teenagers we can’t wait  to get behind the wheel and gain freedom. Because most high school students are rather new drivers, we lack experience in driving. In winter it is the scariest season, because with lack of experience and snow and ice, it stirs up anxiety and nerves.

In north Idaho, we tend to get a lot of snow. When it isn’t snowing it is usually raining. During the winter it snows, then rains, which creates ice. Ice is slippery and makes it rather difficult to drive. Snow, is also slippery, and it is very easy to get into accidents if not driving appropriately in severe conditions. Here are some tips for driving this winter to be safe and get from point a to point b while driving.  

  • Be certain your tires are properly inflated. If your tires are inflated, it creates risk of skidding, which can lead to an accident. Inflated tires disrupt the driving process. You’ll have to pull over on the side of the road in the freezing cold because you didn’t take the extra 10 second pre-caution of checking your tires.  
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full. Gas is a necessity for a car and provides important things like a heater. In case you are stranded in the cold, keeping fuel in your car will keep the heater running until help arrives.
  • WEAR YOUR SEATBELT. Whether it is icy,snowing, or a sunny day, it is always a great thing to wear your seatbelt. Again, it’s snowy and icy, and increases a chance of a car accident. Wearing your seatbelt will protect you from being ejected out of your car if you get into a collision of any type.
  • Do not text and drive. We are teenagers, and for the most part we are attached to our phones. A text message is not worth your life. It is less than smart to text and drive especially in rough conditions like a blizzard, icy roads, and snowy roads. Put your phone in the back seat, put it on silent, or turn it completely off to avoid temptation.  
  • It’s cold outside, so you might want to warm up your car before you leave the house. Do not under any circumstances heat up your car in a garage with the door closed. Carbon monoxide is released from the exhaust pipe, and is a poison to the body. If you inhale it for too long, you could potentially pass out and in worse cases it can kill you.  
  • Drive slowly. This does not mean you need to go 5 mph, but you should slow your speed down in harsh weather conditions to avoid skidding or potential accidents. Slowing down your speed will increase your reaction time. It will also make  it easier to slow down and brake if there is a car that you might hit, or at stop lights so you don’t slide through the intersection or rear end someone.
  • Keep an emergency pack in your trunk. In case being stranded, make sure you have a bag or box of food, hats, gloves, blankets, water, and other things you can think of in case you are put into a bad situation.

Driving in the winter doesn’t have to be scary. Follow these tips and take precautions every time you get behind a wheel. If you are driving with somebody and they aren’t driving appropriately, remind them that your lives aren’t worth speeding, a text, or an unnecessary phone call.

Photo from: www.certifyr.com

Photographer not mentioned.