Learning to drive in the Snow


Recent Snow storms are testing out just how well high school students’ skills are at snow-driving. This begs the question, did they have enough practice to be prepared? Photo by Liptovsky Mikulas courtesy of Unsplash.

Recent snowstorms have poured down on Arvada and it is time to ask, do high schoolers know how to drive in the snow?  Whether it’s spinouts, crashes, or losing control, snow driving is dangerous without mastering the proper techniques.

Just ask Tyler Stewart, a senior here at A-West. He says, “I see lots of people sliding in the snow. So I don’t think they know what they are doing.

The fact of the matter could be that many high schoolers have never experienced an actual school for snow driving and instead, have just been thrown out to the wolves. The rudimentary driving school most teenagers go through doesn’t include the basics of winter weather driving. This is partly the driving schools part of the lack of teaching.

Stewart recalls, “I learned to drive in the snow from my parents but I would feel safer on the road if I had classes(driving school classes).” 

All the weight should not be put on the parents for helping their children to snow drive. Especially here in Colorado, it should be a given that there is an adequate snow driving school. For many reasons, this should be the case but especially for safety. According to Alex Kopestinskey a writer for Policy Advice, Every year, over 1,000 people are killed in vehicle crashes on slushy, icy, or snowy roads. Snow Driving classes are now more important than ever to save innocent high school lives.

Stewart remembers the last time he was part of a dicey situation while driving in the snow. Stewart says his worst experience was when he slid into a tree. Luckily, he was left unharmed but his car was damaged. It is reasonable to assume that if there had been a snow-driving school to attend then none of this would have happened.

Without a proper winter driving school specifically designed for the elements of Colorado, most kids are forced to learn in an untraditional way. This was certainly the case for A-West junior Cooper Best.

Best says, “I have been self-taught and learning by intentionally going to empty parking lots when it snows and driving out of control, drifting, and spinning donuts. So I can practice over correcting steering, the right amount of throttle, and how to regain control in those situations.” 

This proves that it is however possible to conquer Colorado’s snow driving tasks without having a class. CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation) even has recommendations on their websites to help you become more informed with winter driving. CDOT helps with tips such as tire safety, traction, and chain laws. They also recommend driving much slower than the speed limit during blizzarding conditions to ensure your safety.

Though many students can learn on their own, the more feasible approach would be for Colorado to implement these schools (snow driving classes). Having a snow-driving school will not only prove to be effective, but it will also lessen death rates and dangerous situations that no kid wants to become a part of.

Even Best explains, “I think that it would definitely prevent a lot of crashes and injuries, it’s worth a shot.”

It is time for Colorado to step up and save lives on the road. Teenagers are the most vulnerable group and therefore deserve the best learning environment. After all, we don’t live in Florida, it’s Colorado and everyone should be prepared for this type of weather.

Having a snow-driving school will not only prove to be effective, but it will also lessen death rates and dangerous situations that no kid wants to become a part of.