By 8pm last night the roads were sloppy, icy, and pretty much devoid of traffic. I was going to head to bed but inspiration struck as I looked outside. In an instant I was calling for Dominic to put a jacket on. When I told him where we were going Gavin decided he wanted to join us as well.
Where did we go? In some pretty awful wintery driving conditions after dark I took Dominic out for a driving lesson. He has to drive 30 hours to get his driver’s license, might as well get used to Wisconsin winter roads early while knocking out some hours!
I figured this would be a perfectly timed opportunity to get him out in greasy road conditions with bare minimal traffic. He had not really had any night driving experience yet so that was an added bonus.
We drove on roads with melted slush. We spent time on roads with lightly packed snow. When we were in a safe place with no traffic I had him drive outside of the ruts of past cars to feel how the deeper snow would move the car around. I had him hit the gas from a complete stop in an icy spot to see ho the car wouldn’t take off the same way. In a safe spot I had him get up a little speed and then jam on the brake and yank the wheel to see how it feels when the back starts to spin out. At another point he got to experience driving through deep snow going about 40mph and then sliding as he jammed on the brakes. His eyes got really wide and he said he had no idea the car would slide that far. It was perfect – almost every safe scenario we were able to play out to help him see how the car would handle in the snow and how it handled differently in all types of snow.
Having Gavin in the back seat taking note of the conversation and the feel of what was happening was a cool head start for his future driving lessons too.
I’m grateful for taking advantage of the unique opportunity last night. Driving in the snow is something I’ve learned to respect – not fear. Hopefully the lesson last night will help both the boys feel the same way.