STEAMBOAT SPRINGS (CBS) – Some Coloradans struggle with winter driving conditions.
The Bridgestone Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs is working to change that.
The school offers tips to make drivers prepared for what they’ll face on slick, icy snow-packed roads. It’s the only school of its kind in the country. It offers a snow-packed set of straight-aways, turns and icy hills.
The school provides a few basic rules to winter driving success. To start off, they encourage drivers to slow down.
“Adjust your speed for the conditions. If you don’t slow down enough before you enter particular corners, there’s no miracle that’s going to keep you on the road. So certainly adjusting your speed more than you think you should before you enter the corner is number one,” Morgan Cavanaugn a driving school instructor said.
The second rule of safe driving has three components. Those components are brake, steer and accelerate effectively.
“The way you get the most of each of those controls is to use just one at a time,” Cavanaugn said.
The final key once you learn to safely control your vehicle is learning how to safely anticipate what lies ahead. That comes from preparation and an ability to read the road.
“One of the things that you have to remember is that it takes from four to ten times longer to stop on ice and snow. So as a driver you have to plan that much farther ahead to get the job done before you become involved in a problem. One of the simplest ways to do that is to simply just look far enough ahead, keep your eyes up, take it all in and respond accordingly before you become involved in the situation,” Mark Cox the director of the Bridgestone Driving School said.
Cox also cautions about getting a false sense of security when driving a larger vehicle.
“Just because you have an SUV that when you mash on the gas pedal leaps forward, that doesn’t mean that it stops or corners any better than a comparable two wheel drive vehicle. So you have to realize that heavier isn’t always better,” Cox said.
Cox added that when it comes to stopping or cornering a vehicle stopping is more difficult with an SUV.
“When it comes to performance on ice and snow, a lighter vehicle is actually easier to maneuver,” Cox said.