Driving Safe in the Snow


Kailynn Miller, Editor-in-Chief

Snow has officially fallen in our little town of Blackfoot, Idaho, which brings up a problem that most people aren’t sure how to approach: driving in snow. Snow may be pretty and is a sign that Christmas is coming but snow isn’t always bright and happy, it also has bad aspects to it. Snow brings not only obstructed vision but also slick roads, on which not everyone knows how to drive. Roughly, 156,164 accidents happen just in the winter time of a year due to snowy and/or icy roads; Of this, more than 1,300 people are killed in one of these accidents.

There are many different aspects that come into play when driving safe in the snow. First is what to put in your car in case of an emergency during the colder winter months. It is important that you pack warm clothes, jackets, gloves, hats, etc. in your car during the winter months so you are prepared if your car suddenly breaks down and you are forced to sit and wait for help. Another thing that is important when driving in snow is to not use cruise control on roads because it can lead to more accidents when driving due to the time it takes you to decelerate and stop. With this, it is important to keep at least a car’s distance between you and the car in front of you, in winter months it would be wise to consider keeping more than a single car’s distance. 

A major thing to do when driving in snow is to simply drive slowly. One thing that we all learn in drivers education is to assess the road and drive based on that assessment, you don’t always have to drive the speed limit, you can go under the speed limit if you deem the roads unsafe. It is also important to take your time when accelerating and decelerating, doing either of these things too quickly on slick roads can lead to an accident. 

Some things that don’t seem like major issues when driving is to not warm up your car in a closed garage or other space, this causes carbon monoxide poisoning. Another thing is not stopping while going up a hill, it is already difficult to start halfway up a hill, now imagine it with ice. You could imagine yourself like you are on a bicycle, peddling as hard as you can, but you stop for only a couple of seconds to catch your breath; this stop causes you to lose your inertia and you will begin to go back down the hill.

Remember to stay safe out there on the roads and don’t drive if you don’t need to!