Don’t Ditch


Ditching may be fun when it comes to school but is probably not so fun when one drives their beloved vehicle into a ditch. 

With winter in full swing, the roads are getting icy, and staying on the road is becoming difficult for Lakeland High School drivers.

Principal Jimmy Hoffman said the solution is very simple, “Get off your cellphone, period.” 

Being smart and using proper driving etiquette, such as not using cell phones, can keep cars out of ditches. 

Resisting the urge to scroll through the gram or text besties is hard for many teens, who usually learn when it’s too late. Shut it off and focus.

Kim Suko, a counselor at LHS, slid off I-90 during her first year working at LHS after losing control on an offramp exit. 

“It would make sense that younger drivers might go into the ditch more due to less experience,” Suko said. 

While younger drivers are more likely to put themselves in a ditch, anyone can. Even an experienced teacher.

Caroline Gallus, a junior at LHS, has gone into the ditch multiple times but only one time herself. While driving down Ramsey in the middle of last November, she slid off after being unable to brake or steer. The moments after were full of fear and sadness about the events that had just occurred. After failing to get herself out, she called her neighbors for reinforcements. 

“Now I have amazing snow tires, always have my car in 4-wheel drive, and make sure to buckle up”, said Gallus. 

Once in the ditch, accepting the fact that help is needed can avoid further damage to a car. 

Being safe is a top priority when driving in snow, so when becoming a new driver, it is essential to learn how to drive in snowy and icy conditions. 

I have never gone into the ditch, but my truck and I (which I named Murray) have pulled out multiple young teens. Since I have a big, bad truck, I always will come to the rescue. I pulled a past LHS graduate out of the ditch on Saturday on Atlas rd. after he slid off in his two-wheel drive car. 

I pay attention to what is happening around me on the roads and don’t go into the ditch. Knock on wood.