Updates from Upperclassmen: Driving tips for new drivers as the winter season strikes

Published 8:00 pm Friday, December 9, 2022

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Updates from Upperclassmen by Brie Beasley and Michaela Attig

Driving in the winter is dangerous for everyone, especially students just starting to drive. Here in Minnesota, temperatures can drop rapidly to below freezing and make road conditions unsafe. We hope to help those who are in high school who are new to winter driving stay safe and cautious while commuting on the roads.

Brie Beasley

One major tip to help the new drivers is to keep proper supplies with you in case of an emergency. Some of these items can include a hat, gloves, ice scraper, jumper cables, blanket and an extra jacket. In the case that you are in an emergency, these items could come in handy to make sure that you’re warm and safe until you can receive help. Even keeping these supplies in your car can help after a snowstorm or if someone else is in need of help. Along with safe driving, this can ensure that you’re doing your part to stay safe this winter. 

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During the winter season, it is important to know basic driving rules and safety precautions. While driving, drivers need to take into account the road conditions. Some things that could help prepare new drivers for this season are: driving slower, pumping breaks when needed, keeping a safe following distance between surrounding vehicles and just having patience. Pumping your brakes is a safe and effective way to stop your vehicle without sliding. In order to pump your brakes, push down and release your brakes several times to slow down on an icy road. Road conditions can affect people’s driving speeds, causing them to drive a bit slower. To prevent accidents or conflict with other drivers, keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.

Michaela Attig

After a snowstorm or even a light snow, our vision can be impaired by ice or snow, making it difficult to drive safely. Before you begin driving anywhere, make sure that all of your windows are cleared of anything obstructing your view. You can do this by using an ice scraper to completely clear your windows, or you can turn on your defrost to melt the snow/ice. If you have windshield washer fluid, you can also melt the ice and snow by spraying it on your front and rear windows. If you do use windshield washer fluid, make sure that you keep a full supply of it in your vehicle in the case you have nothing else to clear your windshield.

Because you may be driving slower to get to your destination, you should keep in mind that it may take longer to get there. To prepare for this, give yourself a little extra time to get to where you need to go. When you arrive at your destination, it is also important for you to park your vehicle properly. Doing so will prevent accidents, conflicts, and boxing people in. Even though we all have places to go, following these safety precautions will help everyone arrive at their destination safely.

Michaela Attig and Brie Beasley are seniors at Albert Lea High School.