Icy roads ahead

Teen drivers get ready for the harsh winter weather

Mat Huf, Copy Writer

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New drivers are all over the place, and Guilford is full of them. Many new student drivers are hitting the roads at the most inopportune time: winter, with it its unpredictable conditions. It can easily put students into an uncomfortable situation. This is the time for students to place all their attention into driving; one slip up could mean disaster.  According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 599 incidents in winter driving conditions in 2015.

“Driving in the winter is very difficult, especially from where my house is located,” said Zeb Wolfe, junior. “A quarter of the roads I drive to and from on, are country roads. They always seem to ice over, it is very inconveniencing.”

According to Bogdan Martinovich, a personal injury lawyer of Libertyville, Illinois cold winter weather can quickly create hazardous driving conditions on roads and freeways. (https://libertyvillepersonalinjurylawyer.com/weather-related-car-accidents/)  During winter weather or inclement driving conditions, drivers should inspect their vehicles on a regular basis for safety. To prevent weather-related accidents and injuries, drivers should prepare for hazardous driving conditions by keeping their cars well-maintained and properly serviced.

“When driving onto a patch of ice, you must always remain calm, carefully release your foot from the gas pedal and let the vehicle regain traction,” said Mr. Adam Lewis, drivers ed. teacher.

Country roads are often left unplowed by the city/county. These roads are desirable roads to avoid. Getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere can be uneventful. According to Park Forest, Illinois Village Services, drivers shouldn’t leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards. (http://www.villageofparkforest.com/index.aspx?NID=531)

“I’m a relatively new driver, with winter approaching I’m a little worried about driving in the snow, said Shawn Carmichael, sophomore. “The best way to combat the snow is by either avoiding it all together or just prepare before every venture out, at least that’s what my friends have recommended.”

According to the United Department of Labor, it is recommended that people always have blankets among other supplies like cellphones or two-way radio, ice scrapers, flashlights, road maps, water, snacks and jumper cables. They don’t mind that people go out; they just want to make sure everyone stays safe.

“In the winter you should maintain a speed that is safe for conditions,” said Lewis. “You should always plan ahead and leave earlier for your planned destination, never put yourself in a situation where you have to rush.”

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