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Awards & Recognition

2016
Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: First Place (Daniel Anthony, Opinion Category); Fifth Place (Brendan Jubulis, Sports)

2015
Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)
Student Keystone Press Awards Honorable Mention (Website)

2014
Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)

Advice for Driving in Winter Weather

Advice+for+Driving+in+Winter+Weather
olivia_buckel

With so much snow, slush, and ice on the streets of Erie over these past few weeks, the need for safe driving is more important than ever. Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria Academy are full of young drivers who may have never driven in weather like this before and may not know of important tips and tricks to ensure their safety behind the wheel.

To help ensure the student body’s safety, this article gives specific and simple advice for driving in the snow. Following these tips can not only lower the chances of a vehicular accident, but completely prevent one all together. 

To start with, the most important piece of advice is to keep your eyes on the road. Our world is full of more and more distractions every day, especially on our cellphones, and texting and driving on icy roads is incredibly dangerous. Not only will you get arrested, but the likelihood to start spinning or slipping on ice is much higher when you are not focused on the road. Black ice, deer, other drivers, or even pedestrians can be hit by taking your eyes off the road for only a few seconds. Staying alert and cautious is the most important thing. 

Secondly, keep a full tank of gas. If a snow storm hits and you are stuck in traffic, having a full tank of gas is vital. Seeing the low fuel light come on while you are driving in the freezing cold, desperate to stay in your warm car, is the worst feeling. Try and keep your tank at least half full. 

Thirdly, watch your speed. There is no excuse to be driving above the speed limit in the winter months, even if you are in a rush. Keeping both yourself and your fellow drivers on the road safe should always be the number one priority. If you know it will take you more time to get to your destination due to the weather, leave early! Whatever you do, don’t rush. 

The next tip is one of the most well known, and probably one of the most obvious, but be sure to completely clear the snow off of your windshield and side windows. Start the car engine before you start brushing off the snow, set your fan speed to as high as it can go, and crank up the heat. This will help with the process. Then take a snow brush, which can be bought at almost any grocery store, and start brushing off the snow as best as you can. After that is finished, use the scraping tool on the brush to scrape off any ice left behind. Keep a pair of gloves in your car so your hands don’t get cold as you do this. It may be annoying, but a clear windshield is absolutely necessary to keeping safe on the road. Clearing off your headlights and taillights as well can also help other drivers see your vehicle more clearly. 

Using 4WD (four-wheel drive) or AWD (all-wheel drive)  can also help your car have better traction in the snow, but the need for caution is still very important. The Kelley Blue Book Official Guide states, “You can get a false sense of security thinking that because I have a 4WD (or AWD) vehicle I am safer…hence I am going to speed, or I am not going to pay as close attention as I would in a sedan that doesn’t have those features.” What this quote is trying to get across is that 4WD and AWD can help driving in the snow, but no matter what type of vehicle you are driving, you can still slide if you are going too fast. Staying slow is always the best bet. 

Finally, if you are really torn on whether or not you feel comfortable driving in the snow, stay home! If the weather is bad enough for you to get anxious or scared, then wherever your destination is may not be worth it. If you can stay home, just stay home. It is always better to be safe than sorry. 

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About the Contributor
Olivia Buckel, Senior Editor-in-Chief
Olivia is the senior editor-in-chief of The Rambler. She was the junior editor of The Rambler during the 2021-2022 school year, and has written over twenty articles. She enjoys going to the movies, reading, and skiing in her free time, and hopes to pursue English at a four-year university.
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