Be safe on winter’s icy roads

by Alana Sprague, Opinion

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Winter. It can bring beauty, fun, and enjoyment to the hearts of many Spring Lake Lakers. But putting all those pros to winter aside, winter can also bring many troubles.

One of the biggest problems with winter is that snow+roads≠safety. Snow can make big messes on the roads, and when winter comes, drivers need to be prepared for the danger.

Here are some tips and tricks to help keep you safe on the roads this winter season.

When driving there are many things that we can be a distracted by, even in good weather. It is important to be in a positive mindset before you get into the car.

It is also important to make sure that not only are you prepared, but that your vehicle is also prepared for driving in the harsh winter weather.
Before driving off into the winter wonderland outside, consider checking a few things first.

Make sure that your windshield wipers are good and working properly. If you don’t have good windshield wipers, it might be difficult to see through the dense snowflakes that will fall upon your windshield.

It is also a good idea to make sure that your tires have a good tread so that you will be less likely to slip and slide on the road. To help learn about how to control a skid, you could go to an empty parking lot and skid around until you understand how to regain control.

It would help if you know your vehicle and know how to control it. If you do happen to hit a patch of ice and slide off the road, it would also be helpful to make sure that you have a full or almost full tank of gas so that you can stay warm in your car if anything happens.

You are not the only one on the road. There are many others that you share it with. So keep in mind that you can still get into an accident because of someone else.

If you are on the side of the road, it might be handy to have some things that can help. The first thing that might come in handy is to have a phone charger so that your phone will not die. It would be important to be able to contact someone for help if you are stuck in the snow. It would also help to make sure that you have an ice scraper so that you can scrape the ice off your windows.

It is always a good idea to keep a blanket, gloves, and mittens in case you are stranded; that way, you have something to keep you warm.

One odd hack is to keep some sand or kitty litter inside your car so that, if you get stuck, then you can sprinkle it around your tires to gain traction.

Of course, the best tip to remember in the winter is to SLOW DOWN.

Leave yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going, go easy on the gas and brake,  and begin braking sooner and more gradually than you would on dry roads.

Always drive with your headlights on, and if the roads become too dangerous, stay home.

Whether you see winter as a beauty or a pain, it would be smart to consider using these tips and tricks to help you stay safe in the winter. Don’t be unprepared. Check your vehicle before you leave and keep some handy items tucked in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

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