You’re driving to school one morning as snow blankets the ground. Relentless flurries impair your vision, and cars are sliding every which way, unable to gain traction. Students can prepare for several snow days in the coming months, as it is forecasted to be a heavy winter. Whether there ends up being several days off or not, one thing is inevitable: there are always days when school remains open while it’s snowing, making the roads dangerous for students and staff alike.
Although wintery conditions pose a challenge for everyone having to commute, it can be especially unnerving for new drivers.
Brenden Price ’16, a first year driver, said that he will continue to drive if there’s snow on the ground as long as his parents let him. He did say, however, that he had experienced the danger of poor road conditions.
“One time my family was driving up to Vermont in blizzard like conditions, and we saw 10 to 15 cars that had wiped out on the side of the road,” Price ’16 said.
Alex Spadacenta ’17 is one student who has actually been in a snow-related accident.
“My family and I were driving home from Massachusetts, and the car slid on black ice. It went across the street, and flipped over a guardrail on its side,” she said.
“The car was on its side, the doors were pretty damaged and the front window was cracked. The car was totalled, but thankfully nobody was hurt,” Spadacenta continued.
Although Spadacenta doesn’t have her driver’s license yet, she said that the accident definitely will make her more cautious about driving in the winter.
There is a clear risk that comes along with driving on icy roads at any distance, but it is typically the teachers and administrators who live in neighboring towns that have to make the longest treks to work. The commute is undoubtedly challenging for teachers, many of whom get stuck in traffic.
Social Studies teacher Rob Rogers, who also teaches driver’s ed after school, had some advice for anyone making a commute in treacherous conditions.
“For all drivers, if you have to drive in adverse conditions, the rule of thumb is slow down. Staying in control of your vehicle is the most important thing when driving in snow,” Rogers said.
In response to whether or not students should avoid driving in the snow at all costs, Rogers answered, “No. But as with all situations, you should only drive in those conditions if you are comfortable doing so. If you are a new driver, then I’d not drive.”
Rogers also added that driving in the snow takes practice, and that parking lots are always a great place to start.