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Michigan Teens Driving In Winter

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Randa Lee and Jazmyne Boone, Writers

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Winter storms and winter driving bring together dangerous and sometimes deadly outcomes. Many teen drivers hit the roads for the first time and are forced to deal with slippery conditions. The heaps of snow that tend to cover most of Michigan’s roads make the number one cause of death for adolescents even more treacherous. Due to their lack of experience, teen drivers tend to be more likely to be involved in an automobile accident than any other age group. According to the Federal Highway Administration, “Over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement annually.”

Over the snow days on December 13 to December 14, students had trouble driving in the awful conditions to work and to other commitments. Senior  Lindsey Case said, “It was hard to see where the lines were.” The fact that driving in winter conditions is not taught in driver’s training make the odds of teen drivers getting into weather-related accidents worse. Although 60 hours of driving are required to receive your license, none of those have to be in the winter months. Most parents worry about their teen drivers hitting the road in the winter, but very few actually teach their teen the best ways to drive on the slippery roads. Senior Mikala Hunsinger said that her father taught her, “the best way to drive in the bad weather is to just take it slow.”

Here are some tips for driving in the winter months:

Take your time

Even though rushing around is a big part of society these days, when the roads are in bad conditions drive as slowly as possible. Don’t feel like you need to go at a speed you’re not comfortable with, even if everyone else seems to be going faster. And remember slow and steady always wins the race.

Ease off the gas

If you begin to slip and slide on the ice, ease off the gas and slowly tap the brakes. Steer your car in the direction that the rear end of your car is slipping. Do your best to remain calm and increase your following distance. Don’t drive as close as you normally would and be cautious of other drivers on the roads.

Keep winter gear in your car

Keeping warm clothes in your car is always a good idea. You never know when something unexpected could happen and you could end up stranded in your car on the side of the road with no hat or gloves. The cold weather can be bitter and crue,l so you should be prepared for the unexpected.  

 

Don’t Panic

Panicking tends to overwhelm the senses and make it harder to drive; however, having a little bit of anxiety can help you to stay alert and focused on the road. If the roads get too bad and you feel uncomfortable driving, carefully pull over to the shoulder of the road, turn on your hazard lights, and wait it out.

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Michigan Teens Driving In Winter