When the winter months hit, and the snow is falling – the last thing we want to do is leave the house… for a driving lesson! Many people think driving in the winter is dangerous, which it can be, but this shouldn’t stop you from picking up those driving lessons during the cold snap! We’re looking at the pros and cons of learning to drive in the winter months.
You'll gain invaluable skills
Black ice, snow, rain, wind – you name it, winter has it, and these conditions can make driving more dangerous than usual. You need more space between cars, visibility on the roads is very limited and the traction of the car might struggle too, meaning you could skid. But don’t let this put you off, learning to drive in the winter can teach you invaluable skills for life!
Whether you get behind the wheel as a learner in the winter or do it when you’ve passed your test the year later – you’re still going to have to tackle this weather (unless you hibernate for the winter, which doesn’t sound too bad!). I don’t know about you, but practising winter driving with an instructor by my side sounds a whole lot better than be winging it on my own.
Build up your confidence
If you’re learning to drive in the winter, your instructor will likely start you on very quiet roads where you can get to grips with how the car feels on snow and ice. If you don’t have this knowledge as a learner, then you’ll have to face this for the first time on more difficult roads which will add more pressure on to you as a new driver.
Now, we love writing guides and articles to try and help you on the roads, whether you’re a new driver or you’re still learning – but nothing really beats actually getting out there and giving it a go yourself. Would you know what to do if you were to skid on the ice? Well if you’ve read our guides then maybe. But would you remember this information if you had to put it in practice? Maybe not. Getting out and giving it a go is the best way to improve your winter driving skills.
Now – here are a few things to keep in mind if you are planning on getting behind the wheel this winter.
You probably want to learn, pass and have your own freedom as soon as possible, right? Well learning to drive in the winter can actually take a little longer. Of course, learning to drive in the winter will help in the future, but if the road conditions are too dangerous, some instructors may reschedule your lesson for when the weather isn’t as bad.
We’ve already discussed that winter driving is pretty hard – but what about all the other things you need to learn to pass your test? Picking up skills like the parallel park can be much tougher in the dark and therefore take you a bit longer to get it right.
If you decide learning to drive in the winter isn’t for you – there are still ways to experience the tricky conditions from behind the wheel, with skid pan training being available up and down the country! In a safe and controlled environment, you’ll be taught the skills to control and correct a sliding car. Take a look at the last kick plate challenge to see how some of our Marmalade ambassadors got on!
For extra tips and advice on winter driving, check out our winter guide, where we cover everything from driving in the wind and rain to preparing your car for the cold.