Young Patriot drivers to take on winter roads

Faculty and staff parents provide some advice for teens this upcoming season

Madison Elliott, News Editor

The winter season brings many exciting aspects to the year including the holidays and snow, but these aspects contrast to the obstacles that interfere with winter driving. Things like snow and ice make driving more nerve-racking and challenging for new drivers.

Many of the students in JC drive, whether it is with a learner’s permit or a license. From a parent’s perspective, watching their children become new drivers is scary.
At JC, there are several teachers who have children who are driving, and some of these teachers were able to provide advice to those students who drive.
Science Department Chairman Julie Baker shared her views on watching her daughter on the roads. “I’m not too worried about her driving because she is a good driver. I am worried about other people who might be distracted or somehow inebriated crashing into her, though.”
In this case, Dr. Baker along with many other parents are more worried about the other people driving on the road. It is not always the teen drivers who are the ones to worry about since many of them are fresh out of learning the rules on the road and how to drive.
Religion Teacher Chris Deaver described how his teaching his children to drive while they had their learner’s permits helped him to feel comfortable with his kids on the road alone.
Either way, it is important to be safe and cautious while driving no matter who it is. Part of this does concern the weather as winter makes for a challenging season in which to drive.
Each parent had a different piece of major advice.
Mr. Deaver shared his advice for drivers of all experiences as his children are at different levels. Even with this comparison, the advice stays the same.
Mr. Deaver said, “I would advise young drivers to practice turning and braking on slippery surfaces, but do so in a controlled environment.”
Dr. Baker said, “I tell (my daughter) to go slowly and leave plenty of space between her car and the car in front of her. Also, I tell her to brake well in advance if possible.”
Driving with the potential of snow and ice on the roads means being patient and taking time around turning or breaking in order to prevent any accidents. Leaving space in between a driver and the car ahead of you allows time to make quick decisions in the case of an emergency.
Assistant Principal Mr. Jake Hollin had similar advice saying, “I think the most important thing when it comes to winter driving and/or driving in not ideal conditions is to slow down and not be distracted.”
A common stereotype for teenaged drivers is the idea that teenagers get easily distracted because of their phones and friends. Adults are often under the impression that new drivers are not fully aware of the importance of focusing on the road and always being cautious. When it comes to winter, the weather conditions make focusing even more vital.
Following the advice while driving, it is important to prepare with supplies for the winter.
“Sometimes you may think you are going out for a quick trip to the store, but an accident or car trouble could mean standing out in the cold a lot longer than you expected,” said Mr. Deaver.
As for things to keep in the car, Dr. Baker said, “We usually have a blanket, gloves, hat, scarf, and an ice scraper in our cars during the winter season.”
Mr. Hollin added that keeping a phone charger in the car is a good idea to have in case of an emergency.
Overall, winter is one of the most difficult seasons to drive in due to the weather conditions outside, and teens should be careful.