OP: Freshman students should be required to learn how to drive in snow

30 October 2018

Logan Davel

ldavel@uccs.edu

Winter is an excellent time for those of us that love the cold weather and beautiful scenes. But something sinister happens, during this time that needs to stop, so we can keep our streets safe.

With the start of winter comes so many things: white fluffy snow, children singing Christmas carols, the loving warmth of family and friends and finally death.

UCCS needs to do something to limit the amount of winter-related deadly accidents what plague our city every year, especially when it comes to new freshmen drivers on the road this coming winter.

Colorado Springs has already surpassed a record number of vehicle deaths this year and winter has barely started. In fact, the statistics get worse when you consider that traffic deaths were almost 40% greater as of June of this year as compared to last year, and that was months ago, according to a Fox 21 News article..

This is further compounded by the treacherous nature of Austin Bluffs, with its high, sloping grade that comes about just after its intersection with Nevada. The Stanton Road and Austin Bluffs intersection alone is considered by many students to be dangerous.

Additionally, it has been shown that aggressive driving has become more commonplace in Colorado Springs, a troubling notion for inexperienced drivers, according to coloradosprings.gov. The result of this aggression is high speeds and modest use of indicators.

The harrowing nature of this situation should inspire some form of response from our administration, yet neither myself, nor my fellow students have heard of any push from Student Safety on this matter. This needs to change.

On a campus with such an important commuter population, myself among them, this should be a primary issue within the coming months, especially as large snowfalls begin to rear their ugly head. Further, this response should be targeted at freshmen and commuters.

All UCCS freshmen should be required to take a class their first semester that teaches them how to properly drive in the snow, which would include topics like: driving slowly, keeping more distance in between cars and staying home if the weather is simply to treacherous.

The main message of a class like this: “SLOW DOWN” should actually be shared campus wide as it would help students understand the dangers of driving at high speeds in the winter. People travel too quickly during the winter months, despite the fact that there is often a layer of ice on the ground.

This would require that our students collectively decide to slow down. Sure, it would definitely add some wasted time to everyone’s day, but when a few more minutes of wasted time is weighed against the intrinsic value of a life, I really can’t see that much of an argument for the former.

UCCS students need to be taught how to drive in severe Colorado weather so they can better protect themselves and others.

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