How to drive safely during the winter

Ryan Kochan, Contributer

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The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, which means snow and ice. In winter, due to students’ inexperience driving on snowy and icy roads the chances of us getting into accident increases.  According to the CDC teenagers ranging in ages from 16-19 are most likely to get into an accident. According to USA Today, Illinois has 20-39 car accidents per winter. To help prevent accidents the winter or even during warm months follow these simple tips.

  • Check the tread on tires. Use a penny and if you see Lincoln’s head you need new tires.
  • Tire choice. All season tires and winter tires are highly recommended for driving in these conditions for better traction and responsiveness.
  • Leave enough time. By leaving a couple 5 or 10 minutes earlier can help you get to your destination on time.
  • Deice your car. Make sure you use a scraper to clear the ice from all windows. If you have a heated rear window start your car and turn it on to melt the ice.
  • Let the car run for a few minutes before driving. This will allow the fluids in the motor to warm up and allow the motor to run at optimum performance.
  • Truck and SUVs. If you drive either a pickup truck or SUV if you have a 4X4 option be sure your vehicle is in this drive configuration.
  • Begin to reduce speed sooner. When driving in snowy conditions and coming up to a stop signal begin to apply the brakes sooner instead of the usual amount in dry conditions.
  • Always be aware of your surrounding. While driving put any and all electronic devices away and watch all your surroundings.