Snow Struggles: A school day can be a snow day for student walkers and drivers


Cortney Chow, staff writer

Oh, winter. How we love the way you smile when we are forced to dust the tower of snow off our cars while our bodies turn into human popsicles, or the way you laugh when we humiliate ourselves because we fall over the ice you have made invincible. Luckily, we Michiganders have become immune (not really) to the mundane effects of this frostbitten season, but sometimes a school day is a snow day for others. Some people see snow as harmless flakes waiting for the heat of spring, but the harsh winter is the nemesis for those walking and driving to school.

“I almost get hit by a car every day. Sometimes I have to walk in the road because they don’t shovel the sidewalks,” said Kyle Stefanich (10). He is just one of the daily walkers that endure the bitterness of winter every day. But the inconvenient weather not only affects his regular school path, it also dictates what he has to wear every day. “I wear a coat, a hat on top of another hat, two pair of gloves, and waterproof boots. So I have to layer up heavily,” said Stefanich. Thankfully, frequent walkers have also attracted attention of the students and teachers at PNHS. “The most dangerous things for students that walk to school is slipping and falling in traffic that is more focused on the road condition than the people walking and crossing,” said Mr. Ledlow. If opting for walking in roads is not enough, the definition for “getting used” to walking to school in this weather means developing techniques to avoid potential hypothermia. “Sometimes the wind is so cold; my nose would be frozen shut. So I have to breathe from my mouth and breathe out my nose to let warm air pass through,” said Stefanich.

On the other hand, high school drivers battle winter conditions just as much as the walkers. Winter driving is a call for an immediate tire change and constant awareness on the roads. However, this is also a call for a rise in accidents and slowed traffic. “My neighborhoods are never plowed and I’ve been stuck in my own driveway and I don’t have a Ford, Buick, or a large truck so my car is not the best to drive in this weather. I’ve been stuck too many times to count with my fingers,” said Devonate Lassitter (12).  Snow clogged roads are a threat to everyone driving and most high schoolers cannot afford luxurious cars that guarantee safety. “First year drivers can have difficulties coming to school because they are unfamiliar with driving in slippery conditions, and their cars are not the best for safe driving in bad weather conditions,” said Mr. Ledlow.

This winter season is dangerous because Mother Nature feels the need to cast clouds of snow storms to trump safe driving and walking, but Michigan weather can be preparation for severe weather anywhere else. Most people will be looking forward to spring but there is a benefit from this terrible weather: “At the end of the day, I just want a snow day,” says Venugopal.