West Michigan teens get a first look at dangerous winter driving

West Michigan teens get a first look at dangerous winter driving. (WWMT Andrew Bisset)

The blast of winter is the first time that some drivers are dealing with treacherous road conditions.

Newschannel 3's Anna Giles talked with a driving instructor about the importance of making sure teen drivers knows how to handle winter weather driving.

Many teen drivers hit the roads during the winter weather without a lot of practice in slippery conditions, which can lead to dangerous results.

Heaps of snow can put experienced driving skills to the test in West Michigan and two high school students were learning to drive in the awful conditions on Wednesday afternoon.

Student drivers Lydia Janik and Kathryn Antares got their first dose of driving during a Michigan winter.

Janik said, "It was hard to see where the lines were."

Antares said, "I went to go make a turn at a speed where I would normally take a turn on a dry road and totally fishtailed. The car went vroom, vroom, vroom."

Fortunately, the pair drove during heavy snow Wednesday with an experienced driver’s education instructor.

Rick Beauregard, an EZ Way driving instructor, said, “Young people are a lot better drivers than a lot of people give them credit for."

Beauregard encourages parents to enroll their kids in drivers ed during the winter.

Beauregard said, "It gives them an opportunity to drive with a professional instructor in bad conditions when they first drive, where we have a dual control break in our cars."

Janik said, "I’d rather be in a car with a driver’s Ed instructor than with my mom, who's going to make me more nervous."

The biggest advice Beauregard gives to his students, "Slow down, absolutely slow down make sure you give yourself enough space to safely stop."

It's not just young drivers who can use winter driving reminders.

During rush hour Wednesday night several drivers struggled in the slushy conditions on Westnedge Hill.

Beauregard said, "In conditions like yesterday I would have told them to triple that following distance if they could. Just to make sure that in the conditions they are driving in they have safe stopping distance."

Beauregard urges parents who have kids just learning to drive to spend a lot of time with them in the car.

More than the 50 hours required to get a license.

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