5 Winter Driving Schools That Will Have You Wishing for Snow
Try one of these programs to help you conquer weather at its worst
Advanced safety features in cars have made winter driving easier. But there’s only so much emergency braking or automatic steering can do when you hit a patch of black ice while travelling 100 km/h. To navigate nasty weather like a pro, sign up for pointers at a winter driving school. Canada is full of them—and some look downright fun.
Calabogie Motorsports Park
Where: Calabogie, Ont.
When: January and February
At this driving course west of Ottawa, students use their own vehicles while learning how to brake on ice, swerve to avoid obstacles and recover from a skid. The day-long course features both in-class lessons and time on a pro-level winter track.
The Porsche Ice Experience
Where: Mecaglisse, Que.
When: January and February
Fancy navigating a snow-covered track in a Porsche 911? Then this four-day sojourn in the mountains north of Montreal is for you. Under the supervision of expert instructors, students learn how to brake, corner and—wait for it—drift in a 911 Carrera. If money’s no object, you can try Porsche’s five-day class, which includes time in a 580-horsepower 911 Turbo S.
Where: Mirabel, Que.
When: January 24 to February 26
If the Porsche Experience is a little rich for your blood, try this budget-friendly driving school, also north of Montreal. The standard winter-driving package includes 30 minutes of theory and 60 minutes on an ice-covered track, where students can practice emergency braking and dodging obstacles. And don’t worry, you don’t have to risk the family minivan; ICAR provides a vehicle.
AMG Winter Sporting Driving Academy
Where: Gimli, Man.
When: January 23–26, 2019
If Mercedes is your German manufacturer of choice, this four-day course is for you. Students practise braking, swerving and drifting on a temporary track modelled after famous raceways, such as Laguna Seca, but set on frozen Lake Winnipeg. Along with one-on-one training from expert instructors, students get three nights at the Lakeview Resort in quaint Gimli, Manitoba.
Aapex Driving Academy
Where: Locations across Ontario
When: Contact to schedule
Price: $65 per hour
For a quick primer on winter driving, consider reaching out to your local branch of Aapex Driving Academy. The program, which can run from two to four hours depending on your comfort level, includes pointers on prepping your vehicle for winter weather, plus training on braking and coping with low-visibility conditions.
Want more safe driving tips for winter?
Find out about navigating snow and ice the Swedish way or learn six things you need to know about winter tires.
Image credit: Courtesy of respective driving schools