[VIDEO] winter Driving: a course that could save lives

Avto 8 February, 2018
  • Frédéric Mercier

    Wednesday, February 7, 2018 18:00

    Wednesday, February 7, 2018 18:00

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    Winter driving is an art that can be learned. And unfortunately, just put the nose to the outside to realize that all do not control it also.

    For many, driving in difficult road conditions is a great source of stress. It can even become dangerous. And with the winters we have, icy roads and snow are part of our reality.


    Read also: No, it is not necessary to put their windshield wipers before a storm

    Read also: Why are winter tires mandatory?


    Driving courses mandatory to obtain a driving licence help a bit, certainly, but some drivers need a little more coaching. By chance, a number of driving schools offer defensive driving course in the winter situation.

    At the ICAR circuit, in Mirabel, this type of course is offered for a few years already. And with the winter that we know of, no need to tell you that it has a success rather marked since the beginning of the season.


    The theory, then practice

    The course starts with a theoretical section about 30 minutes. Without going into details too technical, the instructors take the time to explain the difference between a vehicle with front-wheel drive, rear or all-wheel drive.

    It demystifies quickly the principles of understeer and oversteer in addition to addressing the importance of the driving position and, most importantly, the vision. “The vision, it is the thing that is corrected most often. People tend to look much too close in front of them,” notes Daniel Caron, one of the instructors of the defensive driving course winter circuit ICAR.

    Once the theory is revised, it is time to practice. The participants of the course come together and take place onboard a vehicle in a group of three. For each vehicle, an instructor is also present.

    The instructor starts with a demonstration of the exercises, which will last about an hour. On the menu: slalom between cones, emergency braking, and, my favorite, the skid.


    A vehicle random

    On the icy parking lot that serves as the ground at the driving school, it is impossible to venture out with his own car. Question of insurance, we are told.

    Instead, the driving school takes care of you lend a vehicle. The only problem is that you never know where it will fall. The day I went there, they handed me the keys to a Jeep Wrangler, a vehicle that one can drive with a configuration of two or four-wheel drive.

    Other days, however, the vehicles available are not the same. It is Impossible to know in advance.

    It is, in my opinion, the greatest weakness of this course. If we show to someone to drive in the snow with a vehicle with rear-wheel drive while his car is rather an architecture to front-wheel drive, there are some aspects that this person could misunderstand.

    Still, the winter driving regardless of your vehicle, one learns by doing. And after an hour and a half of lessons with an instructor, it’s impossible not to develop their skills. “There are often people with low confidence who come here and leave with a better understanding of driving and with the smile on the face”, says proudly Daniel Caron.

    To $ 249, the winter driving course, the ICAR remains rather affordable. “It is less expensive than a new bumper!”, we are told at circuit Mirabel. A nice way to put things in perspective…