Winter is coming: How to prepare to drive in the snow


A driveway in Hollis is covered in snow from a previous year. This driveway could have unknown ice underneath, so drivers should be careful.

Kelsey Sova, Staff Writer

We all know that the cold weather we have been having means one thing: winter is coming. It’s inevitable. It happens every year. Everyone knows, snow comes with winter. However, as everyone forgets, driving in the winter is certainly not as easy as driving during the rest of the year. 

“I would say I do get a little more nervous driving in the winter than like other seasons. The roads are icier and it feels more crowded because the snow is everywhere,” said Kelsey Whiting ‘22. Like many others, Whiting is not experienced with driving in the winter. Although taking her driver’s education course in the winter, Whiting did not receive her license until April of 2021.

On the contrary, Savannah Dougherty ‘22 has driven in the winter before.“The winter is harder [to drive in] because it takes more effort to drive safely.”

In order to prepare for the upcoming winter conditions, Kelsey Whiting said, “I’m going to check my tires and put snow tires on if the car needs it.” Dougherty prepares by “putting winter tires on [her] car and an emergency kit in [her] car.”

17% of all car accidents happen in winter conditions, according to Carsurance. Master Patrol Officer (MPO) Joe Wallent from the Hollis Police Department knows this very well. He sees more car accidents in the winter than in the summer months, “sometimes 3-4 a day.” Most winter car accidents are minor. Luckily there are more minor ones than major. He sees “more minor car accidents, because if we have 4-5 a day, there are usually just people hitting a fender bender because they didn’t stop in time and they hit the car ahead of them,” said MPO Wallent. 

Lots of people “forget” how to drive in the winter because they are used to driving on those hot sunny days. MPO Wallent said that the number one cause of car accidents in the winter is due to, “people not taking into consideration the driving conditions and driving too fast.” Both Whiting and Dougherty have not been in a car accident caused by winter conditions but have both witnessed some. 

When driving is optional, students have different comfort levels about driving in the snow.Dougherty said, “I probably would just go to the store myself,” if she had the choice to driveOn the opposite side, Kelsey Whiting said, “If I could stay home, I would, but if it was absolutely necessary I would probably get someone else to drive me.” This helps show the difference between people who have driven in the snow before and those who haven’t. 

In order to prepare for the upcoming conditions, it’s best to make sure you have your car ready like putting snow tires on. An emergency kit can be made as well. These could include an extra hat, gloves, water, a blanket and more. A tip that MPO Wallent has for drivers, both new and experienced would be, “The first thing is, most important, is patience. You don’t have to get there as fast as you think you need to, and with patience you can read the road conditions better.”

To help prepare for winter driving, You can find the predictions for when it is going to snow in your area on any local news channel.