Driver’s education instructors give tips for wintry driving

Published: Oct. 31, 2019 at 6:08 PM CDT
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The early snowfall has already caused some problems on the road and even the most seasoned Wisconsinites could use a reminder about safe wintry driving.

Even when it’s not too snowy, slushy, wet roads can still cause slick conditions.

It doesn’t surprise Colette Treml, a driver’s ed instructor with Cruisin’ Safely, that even though the winter weather is just starting, drivers are already getting into accidents.

“I believe that what we’re forgetting is that when the weather becomes nasty, and the roads become slippery, we need to slow down and we need to leave more space,” says Treml.

And that’s something any driver’s ed instructor will tell you.

“It’s not rocket science,” adds Gary Lemons who works with Driver’s Education of Fox Cities.

“People are human. They’re often in a hurry, and experience usually is a good teacher. Sometimes it is inexperience. You get younger drivers out there with not a lot of experience in the snow,” says Lemons.

Both Lemons and Teml agree it’s good when they can teach young drivers in less-than ideal conditions.

Yet, even the most experienced drivers aren’t immune to mistakes.

Lemons adds, “We’re creatures of habit. I got this, I got four-wheel drive. It’s no problem.”

Treml says, “I think with all of the all-wheel drive cars, we put too much stock in their ability to slow down and to deal with skids.”

Both instructors believe the key to safe travels for all drivers, is to plan ahead.

“Assume the worst so you can be prepared for it,” adds Treml.

Both would also like to remind drivers that you shouldn’t slam on your brakes in bad weather. Instead, steer for control and gradually press on your brakes.