Winter driving in the Midwest can be unpredictable, much like the weather. Our Winter Driving Program focuses on customized in-car drills and classroom lessons that will cover skid control/recovery, braking, and emergency lane changes on a variety of pavement conditions, which could include ice, snow, and mixed conditions.
This program is ideal for drivers looking to sharpen their winter car control skills or new drivers looking to gain valuable experience.
Classes are offered January-March (weather permitting) and run from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
A valid driver’s license or learner’s permit is required. Supplied cars include Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic or similar.
Price: $160 per person / $100 for West Bend Mutual Insurance Customers (contact your agent for promo code)
A lunch break is provided during the day and is usually 40 minutes. Please feel free to bring a bag lunch, order one of our chef selections (in advance) or take advantage of the local restaurants in Elkhart Lake or Plymouth.
Participants will partake in intense car control drills behind the wheel with up to 3 other students in the vehicle. Please consult your doctor if you have motion sickness or any other medical condition that might affect your experience.
1. Check All Fluids, Lights & Functions on a Regular Basis
- Get regular maintenance to ensure all fluids are topped off and all lights are in working order
- Install snow tires for the winter months and inflate tires per manufacturer’s specifications
- Fill washer fluid with freezing-temps specified fluid
- Install new wiper blades prior to winter weather
- Have your battery tested (often a free service at auto parts stores)
- Repair any exhaust leaks prior to winter weather
2. Pack Emergency Supplies Prior to Winter Weather
- Blanket plus an extra jacket, hat, and gloves
- Jumper cables
- Tow strap, ratchet straps or a tow chain
- First aid kit
- Flares and lighter/matches
- Basic tool kit
- Cell phone with car charger
- Non-perishable snacks like protein bars and bottled water
- Always let someone know where you are headed and your route
3. Check Weather Forecasts before Departing
- Visit www.511wi.gov or download “511 Wisconsin” app
4. Prepare Vehicle before Departing
- Warm up vehicle for several minutes
- Make sure front and rear defrost is working
- Clear the ENTIRE vehicle of snow and ice
- Remove ice buildup from under wiper blades
5. Maintain Control while Driving
- Allow extra time and reduce speed
- Don’t use your phone while driving
- Don’t use cruise control in wet, snowy or icy conditions
- Don’t use e-brake unless necessary
- Be aware of changing road conditions
- Be aware of a way out/alt path to avoid other motorists
- Increase follow distance by 3x
- Don’t pass snow plows
- Use the available road surface to maximize grip
- If visibility is low, use low beams and fog lights
- Avoid sudden/abrupt stops and steering
- If driving conditions are unsafe, pull off the road into a parking lot to wait for conditions to improve
Safe winter travels!