Students avoid slipping and sliding this winter


Winter road. Photo credit: Kate Ter Haar (flickr creative commons)

It is time for Normal West student drivers to brush up on winter driving safety because the season will be filled with rain, snow, and ice.


According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, “The vast majority of most weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement and during rainfall: Seventy-four percent (74%) on wet pavement and forty-six percent (46%) during rainfall. A much smaller percentage of weather-related crashes occur during winter conditions: Seventeen percent (17%) of during snow or sleet, twelve percent (12%) occur on icy pavement and fourteen percent (14%) of weather-related crashes take place on snowy or slushy pavement. Only three percent (3%) happen in the presence of fog.”


As responsible drivers, safety is a priority. When first learning in drivers ed, students are taught how to operate a vehicle safely in all driving conditions.


The American Automobile Association shared winter driving tips listed as:

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seatbelt every time you get into your vehicle.


The weather is changing and there are many precautions one needs to take in case of emergency. Students should have AAA a 24 hour, seven day a week service that provides assistants in roadside emergencies available, snow and ice scrapers, and jackets in the car just in case. Cars should also be checked to make sure everything is running correctly or for anything needing replacement.  


According to Illinois on average has 15 icy road related fatalities a year.


Normal West cares about all the Wildcat students, and for that reason it is strongly recommended to watch the road, be safe, and be prepared.