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Winter driving course to help master your icy driving skills

Posted at 10:35 AM, Jan 16, 2022

CLEVELAND — During snowy days driving isn't the easiest thing, but one school is offering driving courses for those that want to master their skills behind the wheel.

As the state gears up for a winter storm, so does the Ohio Department of Transportation. Matt Brunings with ODOT says his teams have been pretreating the roads with salt days ahead of the storm but drivers still need to drive safely.

“What the pretreating does not do is it does not prevent snow and ice from falling on the roadway. So conditions are still going to be rough during the snow event,” said Matt Bruning with ODOT.

Most drivers in the state are quite confident in their skills, but during the winter, it gets slippery.

According to Ohio State patrol, in December 2020 through March 2021, there were 14,724 wrecks on snow ice or slush, 5,000 of those happened in Northeast Ohio and 1,600 in Cuyahoga County alone.

But there's a place in Akron for those who want to master or learn those icy driving skills.

“Yes, we offer a winter driving skills course for anyone in the area,” said Drew Salyer, the President of the Drive Team.

At Drive Team, they teach you in the classroom and behind the wheel.

“We put them in two different skid vehicles. While we're able to simulate different conditions we can go from completely dry and full traction to black ice in just a matter of seconds so they understand what they're doing when that vehicle starts to lose control," said Salyer.

Salyer says the moment you feel your car skid, you want to start steering backward but look where you want your vehicle to go — that’s going to help. During the drive, Salyer will take through just about every scenario and what to do.

Stating that though, a lot of people are familiar with the snow still make common mistakes. For example, when you lose control, Salyer reminds drivers to stay focused on the road, get back on it and never slam on their breaks, because it will make the situation worse.

Always reminding drivers of two things when driving in the snow, Salyer said: “Giving yourself more space and making sure you slow down are probably the two most important things.

And most importantly, black ice and slippery roads don't care how much of a pro you are. If you can, stay off the roads.

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