Future Kent weather may call for extra safety precautions


Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

Caitlyn Callahan

Students on Kent State’s campus during the Fall 2010 semester may remember the severe snowfall that led to several days of final exams being postponed. Although finals week for the Fall 2011 semester was full of rain and unusually warm weather, Mother Nature finally seems to be changing her mind.

With the constant threat of severe Ohio winter weather, students should begin to think about how to battle the elements while driving to and from as well as walking through campus.


  • According to www.weather.com, the best advice for driving in severe weather is not to drive at all. Because some students commute to campus, that is, more than likely, not an option. The website also offers several more tips on how to arrive safely at your destination.
  • Don’t go out until the snow plows and salt trucks have done their work.
  • Decrease your speed and allow plenty of room to stop. Also, allow extra time to reach your destination.
  • When braking, do it gently to avoid skidding.
  • Keep your headlights on to increase visibility to other cars.
  • Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses, and infrequently traveled roads. These tend to freeze first.
  • If you are driving and your rear wheels skid, take your foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction you want to go. Slowly steer left and right until you get the car under control. With standard brakes, pump them gently. With anti-lock brakes, apply steady pressure.
  • If the front wheels skid, shift to “neutral,” and as the wheels skid sideways they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. Then steer in the direction you want to go, and return to “drive.”
  • If you get stuck, turn your wheels side to side to move the snow away. Use light touches on the gas to ease the car out. If necessary, use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car. Also, try rocking the vehicle by shifting from “drive” to “reverse” and back again.
  • Make sure your car is prepared to handle the snowy and icy conditions. Inspect your tires. Check to be sure your brakes are in good working condition, and all lights on your car are functional.


Winter weather sometimes means unfavorable conditions while walking to class. There are several things students can do to make it safely from one building to the next with snow and ice on the ground.

  • Buy and wear snow boots.
  • Dress warm: a winter coat, gloves, scarf, hat, etc.
  • Give yourself extra time to get to class. You may need to walk slower due to the snow or ice.
  • Students can also sign up for Flash ALERTS, Kent State’s official emergency text notification system. These students will receive text messages notifying them in the event of a university closing or class cancellation due to weather.

More information can be found here.

Contact Caitlyn Callahan at

[email protected].