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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Driving safe in winter weather in the Permian Basin

A local driver's education teacher says you should plan on leaving 15-30 minutes early.

MIDLAND, Texas — Driving in the snow and freezing rain can be dangerous, but there are ways to stay safe.

The first and most important lesson when driving in winter weather? Take your time.

Make sure you prepare your car well in advance of leaving to go somewhere.

This means clearing all the ice and snow.

"We don't really get much precipitation, whether it be rain or snow or ice, so we're normally in dry conditions. So now with the weather changing and with the snow, with the ice on the roads, we really have to change our approach," Ned Simmons, owner of Big C's Driver's Education said.

"A lot of the Midland drivers drive pretty fast," Simmons said.

Midland is also known for it's heavy oilfield traffic.

"There's a lot of 18-wheelers, a lot of work trucks, a lot of them carrying equipment and so it's harder for them to see and it's also harder for them to stop their vehicle, so again we've got to be mindful. We need to give ourselves more space, more time, not be in a rush to get to where we're going because that could be fatal," Simmons said.

If you're on ice, he advises easing off the gas pedal, steering where you want to go and letting the car regain control.

"It's the holiday season. We've gone through enough in 2020 as it is, so (this is) just (one) more way to keep us safe, keep us out of the way of harm and start the year off on the right foot in the right direction," Simmons said.