Winter driving class helps keep drivers in control

PLYMOUTH, Wis. (WBAY) -- Losing control of your car on ice covered roads is something most people in northeast Wisconsin have experienced.

Action 2 News took to the tracks of Road America to learn a few techniques to keep control of the car while driving in the winter.

“I've never actually been somewhere when it's snowing,” said Taylah Chaplain, who is taking one of Road America’s winter driving classes.

She’s from Australia and has already learned a bunch of new driving techniques since coming to Wisconsin.

“I also had to learn how to drive on the opposite side of the road and on the opposite side of the car so it's different but it's good,” said Chaplain.

Now, she's learning how to drive in the snow.

“I'm learning how to skid, learning how to break really quickly and learning how to change lanes quickly,” said Chaplain.

“We try to give them some tools in a controlled environment to control those slides so they can deal with those if they happen on the road,” said Peter Stolz, who has been a driving instructor for about 23 years.

He said the most important lesson they work on is training drivers to look ahead.

“Following distance is like 8-10 seconds behind the car in front of you. You should be looking that far ahead while you're driving; even farther ahead, if possible, to give yourself enough time to react to a possible situation,” said Stolz.

Insurers are also reminding drivers to make sure your car is prepared inside and out.

“You're going to definitely want to make sure you have a blanket, jumper cables, flashlight, batteries, water, some snacks in case you get stranded,” said Josh Volesky of West Bend Mutual Insurance.

“You're going to want to check your tire pressure, check your tire tread depth you're also want to make sure your car is prepared with a full tank of gas.”

West Bend Mutual Insurance partners with Road America and encourages their clients to take the winter driving courses no matter how long they've been driving.