The Reflection

Gull Lake High School's Online News Source

How to stay safe driving this winter

While it may not be completely white outside everyday, Michigan roads have gathered enough ice and snow to make the roads treacherous when driving to school and work. Follow these tips and stay safe this winter!

Vehicle Preparation

  • Get an ice scraper! Car heat and your fingers can not do it all.
  • Attempt to keep at least half a tank at all times this way you’ll have enough gas to start your vehicle earlier to warm up your car and to stay warm just in case you get stranded.
  • If you don’t usually wear a coat, keep one in the car just in case.
  • Keep your windshield wipers in good condition and make sure your wiper fluid is full to help clear of ice and salt from the roads.
  • Check the weather before you leave!

While Driving

  • Before you leave your house or the school parking lot, take the time to clear of your windshield, windows, mirrors, lights, and reflectors so you can see and people can see you.
  • Wear your seat belt!
  • If it is snowing, turn on you lights.
  • If the road looks like it’s just wet, it’s not. That is ice. The speed limits were made for dry roads, not roads covered in snow and black ice. Slow down and get to your destination safely.
  • Increase your following distance in case your car slips or the car behind you pushes you forward into the car in front of you.
  • Also have a greater distance at stop lights in case a car pushes you.
  • Avoid using cruise control so you can easily make changes.
  • Be more cautious over bridges as they usually become one of the first parts of the road to get icy.
  • Passing people is not a good idea.
  • A good rule of thumb is the less you can see, the slower you drive.
  • Slow down at a stop sign or red light sooner and slower than you normal would to ensure you don’t slip as much, and if you do, you can avoid hitting another car.
  • If you start to slide and your tires lock up, lift off the break, turn the wheel, and step back on the break.

Getting Stuck, Crashing, or Breaking Down

  • If your car is out of any danger, stay in your car where it is warm
  • You can typically run your car heater for ten minutes every hour in order to keep your car warm
  • If your travel route is going to take you out where there is limited phone coverage, tell someone where you are going that way they know where to look
  • Keep ice and snow out of your exhaust pipe other words there is a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. If this does happen, open your window slightly help air flow in your car.

If you are unsure about how safe it would be for you to drive, consider waiting until the roads get better.

Author Profile

Lainie Scott
Lainie Scott
This is my senior year at Gull Lake High school, and my second year apart of The Reflection staff.  This year I am the feature/entertainment editor, and I am looking forward to see where my writing can take me.

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