Staying safe on snowy roads

New drivers should be aware of the weather conditions while driving in the winter


Infographic by Reis Dempsey '19

Reis Dempsey '19, Staff Writer

Although many people love Michigan’s four seasons; it is time to consider the change in road conditions that come along with the snow and ice. 

According to Driver’s Education teacher, Mark Avolio, there is a rise in the number of accidents during the winter months.

While he does not believe that this is the fault of teen drivers, he encourages teens to get out and practice driving in the snow.

“For kids that took driver’s training in the summer and have never driven in bad weather conditions, get out there with your parents and have them give you a refresher course so you are ready when the weather changes”, Avolio said.

According to Grosse Pointe Farms Police Officer, Geoff McQueen, new drivers need to be careful of snow covered roads. Black ice or salt dust have the ability to make the road conditions more slippery than they appear.

“There is no way to avoid black ice on the roads, you just have to be careful,” McQueen said.

Grace Paschke ‘19, considers herself a good driver, although she has had one car accident.  Her accident occurred on a snowy morning in the middle of winter. At the time, she had been driving for about 15 months.  

“I think my lack of experience driving in the snow caused the accident, as well as the icy conditions. I was also in a rush to get to school”, Paschke said.

Paschke believes that while the accident could have happened to anyone, it was very icy that day and it was the first year she was driving in the snow on a frequent basis.

Paschke says, “ this year I will plan ahead and leave early in order to keep my speed down and be better able to manage maneuvers in the snow.”

Neither Avolio nor McQueen believes that injuries from car accidents are more severe in the winter.  

“Injuries are caused by speed and force of impact. It is not the speed but rather the road conditions that cause most winter accidents”, says Avolio.

According to McQueen, driving slower gives you extra time to make the adjustments necessitated by slippery roads.

“Drivers need to create more space by increasing following distance, be tolerant of each other and be polite on the roads,” Avolio said.