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The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

Crash Course On Winter Driving


For kids, winter is a happy and carefree time where gifts are exchanged, Christmas cookies are made, and snowmen are built. For teens and adults, on the other hand, winter is a time when the roads turn to ice or slush, windshields get coated in a sheet of ice, and car doors get frozen shut.

Winter brings a flurry of problems for Indiana drivers; iced-over roads being pretty high on that list. Poorly maintained roads can also cause drivers to slide into ditches and spin out if they lack the experience of a seasoned driver. However, EHS Junior Kennieth Avelino begs to differ, stating, “Nothing scares me when I’m driving. I can drive when it’s dark out, raining, pouring, anything!”

Even though some drivers, like Avelino, are confident in their driving abilities, many feel anxious and even scared when driving in winter conditions. Sophomore Stephen Blacklaw, who only holds a driver’s permit, had one of the scariest snow-driving nightmares a driver could imagine. “I was braking on County Road 38, and then I slid into the back of a Millersburg Police car!”

Blacklaw might not have been able to prevent his sliding into an icy situation, but there are some techniques drivers can use to help them stay on the asphalt when roads are covered with snow and ice:

  • Find the snow. When the anti-lock brakes kick on, find a patch of snow to allow the car to gain traction and brake sooner.
  • Follow the bright yellow lights. Police officers, firefighters, and tow truck operators will often stop to help stranded motorists on icy backroads. Make sure to head the “Move Over/Slow Down Law” to avoid seeing those blue lights in the rearview mirror.
  • Don’t trust the dial. While four-wheel drive can help one feel like he or she is gaining traction, it can also cause drivers to gain a false sense of security in dangerous conditions. Four-wheel drive only makes it so the power of all four wheels is used instead of the usual back or front two. Since the tires on the car are not going through a physical change, it is not actually gaining traction.
  • Plan ahead. Leaving an extra five or ten minutes to get from point A to point B can be crucial in helping to prevent accidents. When drivers aren’t rushed, they don’t make irrational driving decisions that they otherwise wouldn’t make.

While there’s no be-all-end-all solution to preventing accidents on icy roads, these tips can surely help when taking on powder-covered roads during the holiday season.


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About the Contributor
Caleb McCraner
Caleb McCraner, Staff Writer
Hello, my name is Caleb. I’m a sophomore, and this is my first year with The PENNANT. I want to be able to pursue writing and get more experience by being on The PENNANT staff. Many may not know this, but I like cooking and swimming. Running is also one of my hobbies. Hopefully, I'll get to write about some of these topics while on staff!

Comments (4)

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  • K

    KamiFeb 1, 2024 at 1:40 pm

    As a person who is terrified of winter driving, I love this article. It gives a lot of helpful tips for staying safe on the road. Thank you for sharing!

  • D

    DanniaFeb 1, 2024 at 12:50 pm

    I wanna learn how to drive soon so these tips are so helpful, thank you so much.

  • J

    JulieJan 31, 2024 at 12:55 pm

    I loved this article, I just recently started driving and I will definitely keep these tips in mind! Thanks for sharing.

  • E

    Ethan PontiusJan 31, 2024 at 8:37 am

    I really enjoyed this article and it helps me in the future in case I run into some bad weather while driving.I didn’t know that I should do these things and now that I know I feel safer driving.