It was a chilly and atmospheric winter morning when I and several other esteemed bloggers turned up at Northants Skid Control Centre, full of excitement and nerves. I have, for many years, been afraid of driving in icy and snowy conditions, and despite my over cautiousness I still managed to hit a hedge, a few years back. Living rurally, the ability to drive in such conditions is essential and unless you have a nice big four by four, it’s likely that a skid on the un-gritted roads will happen at some point. Direct Line Car Insurance kindly arranged for us to experience this day to find out whether it would make us more confident drivers.
The idea behind skid pan training is to learn about the mechanisms of the skid and be trained – by hands on experience and observing your fellow trainees – how to control the skid and avoid a collision. We studied the art of the skid in both front and rear wheel drive cars and I think we could all agree which was the most fun. When left alone to practice, nobody could resist taking the rear wheel vehicle for a few doughnut spins on the wet and oily track that we had been practising on.
It’s almost a shame that we have ended the winter with no snow and ice, so keen was I to test out my new found confidence. My son keeps urging me to “do a skid Mummy” but I have had to explain that a tree-lined lane is maybe not the best skid-pan, not to mention the legality of it on a public road.
An amazing day out has given me renewed ability behind the wheel of my car, and I am ready now for a calmer wet/muddy/icy driving experience.