How does winter weather impact students?

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As Winter weather starts to arise, temperatures begin to drop, and some places begin to see snow. (Photo courtesy of Public Domain)

Winter weather can be nice, but also an inconvenience for some.

Temperature

As many know, with winter comes frigid temperatures, often going below freezing and leaving students bundling up in multiple layers.

Cold temperatures can also lead to certain appliances not working in the household. “My room has broken [heat] and does not get hot air so it’s really cold in the morning,” said Ethan Davidovich, junior. 

Another thing that many North Carolina residents have a problem with is snow — and not that we get a lot. Vincent Chakkalakal, junior, said, “It’s really cold with no snow.”

Sadly, there is a reason why the Raleigh area does not see as much snow as students may like. It may be “really cold” but the temperature does not go below 32 degrees while it is raining, which would then lead to snow. 

Students especially want snow, since it leads to not going to school, known as “snow days.”

Car Trouble

While students may be affected by winter weather, so are their modes of transportation.

Cars don’t take winter lightly and can lead to doing heavy defrosting or even scraping ice off of the windshield. This can cause a delay in students arriving at school.

However, there are ways to prevent car trouble in the winter.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said, “Make sure your vehicle’s reservoir is full of high-quality “winter” fluid with de-icer before winter weather hits. Make sure defrosters and all windshield wipers work and replace any worn blades. Consider installing heavy-duty winter wipers if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and ice.”

Another tip from the NHTSA is to “familiarize yourself with the safety technologies on your vehicle and how they perform in wintry conditions. Know whether your vehicle has an antilock brake system and learn how to use it properly.”

Follow these tips and see more on the linked website above to stay safe on the road during the winter months.

Winter Experiences

Many students can recall experiences from when they were younger and building snowmen or making snow angels, however not everyone has had such a good experience.

“Driving through New York, there’s like whiteouts, those are pretty bad,” said Chakkalakal.

Another experience that students may have had when they were younger could be sledding.

Whether people go somewhere or have a hill in their yard, sledding is something that most people have done and enjoyed.

Another lesser experience is having the power go out.

The power going out can lead to food going bad, or the heat going out. There’s always a natural source of heat, though — fire.

Having a bonfire in the winter when it’s getting chilly outside is always nice. Neighbors and friends come around and stories are told, it’s always a good time.

Ice

According to the Department of Transportation, “24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement and 15 percent happen during snowfall or sleet.”

The fact that almost a quarter of crashes each year are caused by ice is astounding.

There are ways to prevent ice from forming on the roads.

Whenever the government believes there is going to be a possibility of an ice storm, they will send out trucks to spread salt on the roads.

According to Salt Smart Collaborative, “Road salt, or sodium chloride, works by lowering the freezing point of water, causing ice to melt even when the temperature is below water’s normal freezing point of 32 degrees. When salt is applied, it dissolves into separate sodium and chloride ions that disrupt the bonds between water molecules.”

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