Winter driving conditions require careful, distraction-free attention

Erik Carranza, Reporter

DRIVING during the winter is the hardest, especially for teenagers who are barely starting to drive on their own. Car accidents are the number one cause of death for people within the ages of 15-24.

The West Valley City fire department and police station have a lot of officers and firefighters that are helpful when it comes to helping anyone when they need it. Wayne Reilly has been part of the fire department for 12 years and knows how to deal with a lot of different situations. Reilly has seen so many accidents happen and has been called to accidents, as well. “Not being distracted while driving will make you a much better driver,” Reilly said.

Distractions are one of the main causes of car accidents, whether food, friends, phones, or just messing around with the radio. People seem to think that nothing bad is ever going to happen to them while doing it because they have never been in an accident.

“Most of the time accidents occur as a result of the other people around you not paying attention. It may not even be your fault, but unfortunately you can get injured,” Reilly said. Therefore, one must not only focus on driving but also on the driving of others. “Driving demands 100% percent of your attention,” Reilly said.

Officer Randall is a Granite School District police officer and has not only worked within the district but also outside of schools, too. “People get used to driving during the summer and fall without the snow, so once the snow hits, it’s like everybody forgets how to drive for the first couple of weeks,” Randall said.

Space and speed are two really big factors that affect accidents during the winter. “By decreasing your speed and increasing your space, you will give yourself more time to react and will have a smaller chance of crashing,” Randall said.

Vehicles need a lot more attention this time of the year. Tires wear out a lot faster during the summer because of how hot the road is, so when the roads get icy it is easier for cars to swerve a lot more as they lack the necessary grip to stay grounded. Also, because it is going to be snowing, windshield wipers can make driving so much easier and safer.

People need to take precautions and think ahead when driving in the snow. With that said, it is important to carry blankets, water, snacks, a flashlight, and a portable charger or two, in case you get stranded and need to call for help.

Ms. Turner, the Granger High School driver education teacher witnesses all kinds of accidents when driving around with her students. “If people would just slow down and leave more room between them and the car in front of them, there would be a lot fewer accidents,” Turner said.

Lancers should that no distraction or rush is worth a life. Be careful on the roads this winter season.