Winter conditions call for safer driving habits


The Mirror reporter

Winter can be scary for new and old drivers, especially in Wisconsin where there can be many hazards to watch out for.

“I have been driving for a few years and I still get nervous driving during the winter. It’s hard to be prepared for everything,” Raiven Breseman said.

“I just got my temps and I’m worried about learning to drive on the snow and ice,” Jenna Strojny said.

This is true of many drivers who don’t know how to be prepared for the winter weather. Cold, snow, ice, hail, deer and other factors play a part in the increased risk of something going wrong.

“Most importantly, slow down! Everyone needs to drive slower and get used to driving in poor conditions again. Keep a better following distance. Begin starting and stopping sooner or allow more time for this. And simply allow more time to get to wherever you are going,” Chris Haka, driver’s education teacher, said.

When driving in the winter, be more cautious and pay attention to what is around. It’s also important for people to know what the weather conditions and road conditions are before they get on the road so they know what to expect.

“You never know when conditions will change so be prepared. You could go from a clear road to an ice covered road in no time. Ice is ice and no one can stop quickly on ice and it is easy to lose control of your vehicle on ice. Also expect that the other driver will make a mistake,” Haka said.

Not everyone on the road drives safely so always expect the worst from other drivers.

Before heading out on the road there are ways to get a car ready for the winter.

“Get your car service or winterized by your mechanic. Check the tire wear and pressure, check your wiper blades, anti-freeze level, and battery life. Give it a good once over to make sure it is ready for what you will be driving in,” Haka said.

When planning a long trip or travelling over the holidays, make sure to plan the route and tell people the destination, the departure time and planned arrival time is so if something does happen, people know where to look.

Everyone should be prepared for the worst. People can’t know what type of weather or situation they will find their self in.

“Get a good snow scraper and if you are going on a trip pack a shovel and other emergency supplies like blankets, extra clothing, food, kitty litter or sand, a coffee can and a candle with matches, a flash light, cones or emergency flares. Just be prepared,” Haka said.