Tips to being safe during the wintertime

Kelly Smith

It’s here again. Winter has officially made its presence known to us by giving us another day and a half of no classes. I read on an online weather report that these winds we encountered were labeled as “arctic winds.” I’m sure anyone who spends enough time outside will agree that it can be very dangerous during this time of year, being so close to Lake Michigan and all. So how can we take the proper precautions against this hostile environment?

First of all, let’s focus on the cold air and the danger it poses to our hands and face. As I mentioned, I’ve been monitoring weather reports recently. On the bottom of one of them, there was a suggested article about frostbite and hypothermia that I decided to read briefly. It mentioned how it is very easy in such weather to get frostbite of suffer from hypothermia and that it is important to keep an eye out for any symptoms that indicate something is wrong with the body. When it comes to the snowstorm we had last Thursday, it’s extremely important that we cover up as much as we can and don’t be outside any longer than we have to.

Okay, what about driving? In one of my previous articles, I spoke about the importance of being aware of the season’s changes while on the road, but as a pedestrian, we must also be very wary of what could still happen while crossing roads.

It’s no secret that braking and steering won’t always work the way you want it to when the roads are icy or slushy. Therefore, we can’t always assume that someone will always be able to stop right away at a crosswalk, even if they are paying attention. As drivers, we must give ourselves a greater stopping time and try to avoid going at a speed where losing control is critically high. As pedestrians, we need to watch ourselves if we’re crossing a street or walking down a road that has no sidewalk.

I remember several years ago, I was on my way to the nearby bus stop to go to school. I was walking briefly along a stretch of sidewalk only several feet from the road and saw ahead of me tire tracks that went from the road and across the sidewalk. I saw that our neighbor’s fence was destroyed in the area where tracks led to. These are very dangerous times, and we need to be very aware of our surroundings.

While there is no foolproof method to travel outside safely, being smart and as cautious as possible is the best way to get from point A to B safely. While some people may not need as many layers and driving safety lectures as others, we must still take notice of possible early warnings of something going wrong. I encourage you as a reader to check out other winter safety articles, including my article on driving tips. It’s not rocket science to keep ourselves and each other safe!

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