AAA Offers Tips for Teens Driving in the Snow - NBC Connecticut

AAA Offers Tips for Teens Driving in the Snow



    AAA says teens need to practice, and the biggest obstacle is the giant snow banks. Instructors say don't drive near the shoulder of the road, slow down and be aware of your surroundings. (Published Monday, Feb. 17, 2014)

    Navigating snow banks and leftover icy patches can be treacherous, especially for young drivers who are still learning the rules of the road.

    “Just driving around the hill the other day, even as an experienced driver, I was sliding,” explained Martin Singleton of Hartford.

    His 18-year-old was learning how to drive this winter,and Singleton said he has one major fear: "Getting that phone call saying my child has been in an accident."

    Representatives of AAA said parents need to prepare their children for driving in winter weather, and new drivers should practice to improve their skills.

    “It's nothing to be terrified about,” said driving instructor Stephen Rourke. "It's a fact of life in New England."

    He took NBC Connecticut for a ride and showed us what inexperienced drivers need to know.

    “Slow down and increase your following distance,” Rourke explained.

    He said it's critical to stay off the streets in the height of the storm, but added that once severe weather dies down, giant snow banks become the biggest obstacle.

    “As you’re approaching an intersection, if you can’t see well enough, look at the snowbanks and see if there are headlights coming,” Rourke added.

    He said it's a good idea to "creep out" into the roadway enough to see oncoming traffic.

    “Let the car roll forward," Rourke said. "Do another stop until you can clearly see what’s happening."

    He also said many teens make the dangerous mistake of driving too close to the shoulder after streets are plowed

    “If you get the right side wheels stuck in some of the snow, it can pull the car into snow bank,” he explained.

    His main message: caution is key. Rourke also said it's wise to keep an emergency kit in your car, including a shovel, blankets and a flashlight.