I learnt to drive on the nice, warm, dry island of Malta. Where the sun shines 300 days a year, and the water never freezes. Driving lessons do not focus on how to avoid skidding on ice. However, I am now in lovely Denmark, where it rains on around 50% of the days and the average temperature in February is 0 degrees Celsius. Needless to say, such skills have gained significant importance! So I took a ‘glatbanekursus’, or skid training course on a wet track to get some practice and gains some confidence.
Such courses in Denmark are art of every new driver’s course prior to passing the driving test. However, you can also repeat the course once you have a driving licence, to refresh your memory, as well as to challenge your abilities a bit more. In Sonderborg, such courses are offered at Sønderborg Køreteknisk Anlæg. Having seen the course offered through IDA, the engineering society, I decided to have a go.
The 4 hour course consisted of, first, a brief run through what we would be doing. Then we quickly jumped into our cars to start the actual driving: braking, slaloming, swerving and other manoeuvres. For the first half we drove on dry tarmac, getting comfortable with our own cars, before we got to the water-soaked part of the track.
If you have never done such training I would definitely recommend it before your first winter. It will probably not stop you from skidding, but will give you the peace of mind that you have been there before and managed to get out of it OK. The instructor, Kaj, was also very friendly and OK with having Michael along in my car for translation. And if you have already done it? I am sure you can get something out of learning how far you can push yourself and your car!
The course is offered in Danish so you either need to be proficient in that or have someone Danish drive with you.
Photo by Iben Jacob-Nielsen from Din Køreskole.