A parent’s natural reaction is to protect their children and keep from the harm’s way. This natural instinct, understandably, leads many parents to prevent their new drivers from driving on icy or snowy roads. However, eventually those young drivers are going to need to venture out in less-than-ideal conditions and experience is the best teacher.
Set aside some time to take your young driver out in some icy and/or snowy conditions and let them experience the difference and offer some guidance on how to adapt their driving skills. A parking lot, vacant fair grounds or other less-travelled roadway is a good place to start. Go out during daylight hours (at least for the first time).
Here some tips you may want to share with the new driver:
- Respect speed limits (in severe conditions, slower than posted speeds are often appropriate)
- Give yourself extra space to stop or slow
- Turn on your lights
- Review what to do in case of a skid (this will depend on whether the vehicle has manual or automatic transmission – see my previous blog in December 2011 entitled “Winter Driving”)
- Be sure they have an emergency survival kit in the vehicle
- Anticipate and recognize problems (avoid panic, respond early)
Young drivers need experience, and experience with a seasoned instructor in the vehicle with them is the best kind.
Think about it.