Driving in the Snow


Riding through the snow: Ronan safely navigates the icy roads. Photo courtesy: Ronan Smith, January 6, 2021.

Luca Ubaldi and Anthony Giordano

     As the colder parts of winter come, snow can create hazards on the roads. It is important to understand the proper techniques for driving in these months. 

     According to caranddriver.com, it is key to drive smoothly when there is a layer of snow on the road. You should keep more distance between cars in case of a slide. If you start to slide, look where you want to go instead of where you are sliding, as this can result in a resolution to the frightening situation. Furthermore, in preventing your car from sliding, do not slam on the brakes. You should feather the brakes until stopped. 

     The Next Street is a popular driving school for new drivers. When driving in the snow, these instructors suggest driving in the clearest lane. Also, another important tip for parking in a snowed-in parking lot was to drive forward and back to compact the snow. This will help prevent getting stuck in the parking lot when pulling the car out. 

     Over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured each year in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement. Officer Taylor, the resource officer at Foran, says “When driving in the snow,  it is best to always be aware of your surroundings. Break as early as possible so you have enough time to slow down and avoid any collisions.”

     Diving in the winter can be very dangerous, even without snow. Sometimes clear “black” ice will form on the roads. The most common times for black ice to form are at dawn and late evening when temperatures are coolest. Black ice can form when the air is at 32 degrees or below at the surface. 

     Brayden Young, a student at Foran, has been driving for a few months and has already had multiple experiences with driving in the snow. Young states, “It’s scary when your wheels don’t  have good traction…you just have to stay calm and take it slow when you are driving in bad conditions.”

     Light flurries can turn into a blizzard within minutes. If you are thinking of going out when it is snowing, you never know what mother nature has in store for you. If you are stuck in a blizzard on the road and you cannot see too far, it is best to bring your vehicle to a snail’s pace to avoid collisions with other drivers.

     Another good option is to wait out the storm. Young says, “My parents always told me that there is no harm in pulling over and waiting for a storm to pass”. It is always better to wait out a storm rather than risk an accident.

     Winter time in Connecticut is a beautiful time but it can be unforgiving. Always remember to take your time on the roads and drive as safely as possible. Nevertheless, driving is risky no matter what the conditions are. Plan around the weather and be prepared for anything that can come your way on the road.