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Teen’s Perspective on Safe Winter Driving

by Sam P. | January 23rd, 2015 | Teen Perspective, Teens

bad weather (400x400)Driving in the winter can be ever so dangerous, especially if you live as far north as I do.  Up here in New Hampshire we were recently hit with an arctic front and one day I got up and it was negative 7 degrees out.  That obviously will lead to some very slippery roads if there was any precipitation at all overnight.  Even the snow froze.  Driving to school that day and the day after was not fun.  It was probably even worse the next day because it was snowing, and just enough had collected that the roads were a slippery mess.

There are a few important things to remember when driving in the winter.  The first is to go the speed limit.  It does not matter if you are late your safety should always come first.  If you know the weather is bad and the roads are icy your best option is to stay off the roads, but if absolutely necessary leave at least five, if not ten minutes before you need to.  It is always best to assume that the roads will be blocked up due to inclement weather.  If the roads are clear, then yay for you, and congratulations on being early.

Another thing to remember is something you were probably taught in Drivers Ed years ago.  Never slow down during a turn, especially with icy roads.  Turns in general are never fun on ice, but if you slam on the brakes during the turn, it will most likely result in skidding or possibly a tail spin.  A few years ago, my brother and I were driving down a windy road and he hit the brakes through a turn, hit a patch of black ice, and we did a 180 on the road into a snow bank.  That is never a fun experience and can result in injuries.  Luckily my brother and I were fine, but you may not be.  So always slow down before the turn, coast through the turn, and then accelerate out of it.

If you do end up skidding on ice or snow never slam on the brakes.  Only if you are about to slam head first into a snow bank should you brake during a skid.  Of course, it is human instinct to hit the brakes, but if you can avoid it try not to.  When you are skidding it means your tires can not find traction.

Lastly, if you do ever find yourself in a car accident or in a snow bank, do not panic.  The first thing is to assess what has just happened, make sure you are not injured and then, if needed, call 911.  Next call a parent or guardian who can help you.  If you can, keep your car running and stay inside it to stay warm.

Driving in the winter is not as scary as it seems, obviously don’t go out in the middle of the storm, but as long as your drive carefully you will be safe.

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