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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Downpour Leads to Driving Dangers

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  • Fog obscures road visibility on Friday morning. Low visibility contributed to the driving-related dangers caused by the weather. “There’s a lot of rain, so my side mirrors get covered up,” Leila Tavasoli ’25 said. “It’s hard to clean them.”

  • The road is full of puddles on Wednesday morning during a heavy shower. Rainfall during the night and early morning contributed to slippery conditions when students drove to school.

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As a result of heavy rainfall beginning on Monday, Jan. 22 and persisting until Thursday, Jan. 25, Austin drivers had to be extra cautious to avoid slippery asphalt and crowded conditions on the road.

“I practice driving most days of the week but I’ve only [driven in the rain] a few times [so] I’m less confident,” Kaavya Ganesh ‘25 said. “[I’ve had to] make sure to stay below the speed limit, be extra careful when I’m following road rules, and not go too fast.”

One of the most prominent effects of the rain was traffic, especially in school areas. Long car lines contributed to tardies and absences as students opted to drive to school instead of walking or taking the bus.

“People are trying to be more careful when they’re driving so they’re going slower,” Leila Tavasoli ‘25 said. “Because of that, [traffic] is getting backed up faster. I was waiting for 10 minutes or so in line to get to school because of a stop sign.”

In addition to traffic, the heavy rain led to fog that limited visibility resulting in increasingly dangerous driving conditions. Flooding also presented a risk to drivers, leading to several road closures at low-water crossings in Central Texas.

“I was driving home from one of my classes and it was pouring,” Ganesh said. “We were on the highway and the water was really deep. I could feel the car skidding while I was driving. I was going about 50 mph, so it was pretty scary. And [yesterday] morning, when it was raining, I had to drive really slow to get to school.”

Although the wet roads challenged some inexperienced student drivers, it also allowed them to practice driving cautiously in rainy or foggy weather.

“I haven’t been driving long enough to get used to [driving on wet roads], so I have to be very careful, especially around [other] new drivers,” Tavasoli said. “I’m worried that we’re going to accidentally run into each other. Right now I’m staying off the highway and I’m slowing down early [to stay safe].”

Experienced drivers and student drivers alike have taken extra precautions to stay safe on rainy roads, including turning on headlights to increase visibility, maintaining a three-second following difference from other cars, and avoiding flooded streets.

“I usually drive three to four times a week [but the rain] makes it very hard to see,” Audrey Lee ‘25 said. “That really makes it harder to drive because of the weather. I try to just be very cautious, drive slowly, and be aware of myself and others.”

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About the Contributor
Prima Changwatchai, Community & World News Editor
Class of 2025 I love writing, photography, and design, so I’m thrilled to be on Student Press! When I’m not doing journalism work, I’m still typing up stories and taking photographs, only I’m also doing the daily New York Times puzzles, making little doodles in my math notebook, reading anything from poetry to fantasy fiction, learning new songs on the piano, and overthinking everything.

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