Brakes squeal and suddenly the steering wheel spins wildly, slipping through your frostbitten fingers. The tail end of the car swings wildly as you panic, attempting to regain control of your vehicle, but the slick, packed down snow and ice will not allow it. By the time you are able to steady your car, you could be plowing into a school bus.
On Tuesday morning, thanks to two days worth of unmelted snow and ice, this was reality for one of the high school buses and another car.
“It was by no means a horrible accident, but it still caused inconveniences for all involved,” junior Ashley Varney said. “I don’t think inexperienced drivers should driving in these conditions, but the school can’t prevent it and should consider this when making the call. If student safety is a top priority, it should be more obvious.”
Many other students have had frightening experiences on the roads as well. Trying to get to school, some have lost traction or have started to slide on the slick roads.
“I was on my way to school and turning onto Morgantown Road and tail-spun almost a full 360°,” junior McKenzie French said. “I had to back up all the way and basically try again to turn, and I stopped traffic completely.”
French was not the only student who was trying to get to the school safely and ended up have a dangerous driving experience. On Monday morning, senior Juliana Hulsey found herself stranded at a light without traction and without any foreseeable source of assistance.
“I was turning left from Morgantown onto Stones Crossing. I was the first one at the light, and when it turned green, my wheels got stuck,” Hulsey said. “I tried gunning the engine, but then I started smelling something burning. I had to turn on my emergency lights as people were driving around me in order to turn. Eventually Mr. Timmons knocked on my window and told me he would gently nudge me with his car next time the light turned green. I was just so happy to get some help.”
Not only are the snow and ice giving students problems, the low temperatures themselves are also causing some malfunctions. Katelyn Dickson was stranded for over an hour after school due to a problem with her car.
“Water vapor leaked into my gas pipes and froze them in this weather,” Dickson said.
Between the buildup of snow, ice, and slippery slush covering the roads, driving can be an extremely dangerous. The Automobile Association of America (AAA) recommends slow starts and stops, avoiding use of the parking brake, and avoidance of full stops at lights and on hills. Be sure to know your vehicle and allow yourself extra time. Err on the side of caution, and be safe while driving, as it doesn’t seem likely that Center Grove will be having any delays this year.