Winter Driving School Boosts My Confidence Driving in Snow and Ice

Featured Image: Winter Driving Requires Confidence And The Right Tools. Check Out These Tips Before Hitting The Road In The Winter. Photo By Infiniti
Featured Image: Winter driving requires confidence and the right tools. Check out these tips before hitting the road in the winter. Photo by Infiniti

This winter, we all need this.

Especially as a Texan who’s never had regular winter weather in the forecast –until recently.  But I had the chance to go to winter driving school where I learned the essential tips for driving in winter weather driving, and now I feel like I can conquer the world.

The timing for attending winter driving school could not be better. So many parts of the country are having major storms. As a born and raised Texan, I haven’t had much experience driving in ice and snow, and clearly, I need to learn. Once you know when to anticipate ice on the road, develop the right reactions and know how to prep your car, you are well prepared for  slippery, snowy conditions, for the challenge or the fun, however you see it. So when I got the opportunity I jumped at the chance to learn from the experts.


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I went to where the snow is – Big Sky, Montana, as a guest of Infiniti – to learn to drive safely in winter weather. That we got to do this in the Infiniti Luxury SUV lineup was a toasty, pampered bonus; I also learned to love a heated steering wheel and heated seat.

Related: Are You Ready for Winter Travel? How to Winterize a Car for the Snowy Road Ahead

Driving In Snow And Ice At The Infiniti Winter Driving Program

Infiniti Luxury Lineup of SUVs ready to be put to the test in the ice drive event. Photo: Holli Fourniquet

Embracing the Nervousness and Conquering My Fear

The program had participants immerse themselves in the wintry weather by driving Infiniti’s SUVs on five different tracks: ice, performance slalom, handling, accident avoidance and snow donuts. These courses are designed to push drivers and vehicles to the limits. Of course, instructors were there to help participants navigate the terrain.

To say I was a little nervous is an understatement. However, I trusted I would be in the best of hands as well as in a vehicle capable of maneuvering in icy and snowy conditions. Driving in the snow and ice can be a daunting experience even for expert drivers. With the right strategies and precautions, it can be done safely. It all boils down to four top tips for safe  winter driving: Look where you want the car to go, learn your car’s capabilities, make sure you have good tires and maintain a safe speed..

Related: Easy Winter Windshield Tricks to End Your Fight With Ice

A Driver Receives Instructions And Tips On The Course Ahead. Photo By Holli Fourniquet

A driver receives instructions and tips on the course ahead. Photo: Holli Fourniquet

1. Look in the Direction You Want the Car to Go

This was the top instruction repeated over and over throughout the drive event. It can seem very simple. When driving in snowy or icy (or really, any) conditions, it’s essential to look in the direction you want to go. If you start to slide, turn your steering wheel in the direction you want to go, and keep your eyes focused on that direction. This will help you regain control of your vehicle and avoid a collision.

Sounds simple, but…

If you look at the snow bank, you will naturally start drifting toward the snow bank. There were a couple of times I looked at the obstacle instead of the direction I should have been going. Luckily, instructors guided me back in the right direction by reminding me to look where I wanted to go, which is sometimes harder than it sounds.

Infiniti Luxury Lineup Of Suvs Ready To Be Put To The Test In The Ice Drive Event. Photo By Holli Fourniquet

Infiniti Luxury Lineup of SUVs ready to be put to the test in the ice drive event. Photo: Holli Fourniquet

2. Learn Your Car’s Capabilities

The type of car matters.

This can play a significant role in your ability to drive safely in hazardous conditions. Four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive cars and SUVs have better traction on slippery roads and are better equipped to handle harsh winter weather. This is because every wheel gets power. If one wheel begins to slide or spin, the other wheels can work to regain traction.

All wheel drive can be pretty smart.

During the drive event, I mostly drove the Infiniti QX60, the brand’s three-row SUV that was redesigned in 2022. It comes in four trims, all of which can be optionally equipped with all-wheel drive. The new all-wheel drive system has what is called direct coupling, which almost instantly engages to split the power evenly between the front and rear wheels. It also allows for instant traction on snow even when climbing a hill and on uneven or slippery surfaces.

Snow Driving in … Sport Mode? Yup!

We alternated between the snow and sport modes throughout the event to test the difference. Not being as experienced driving in these types of conditions, I much preferred using the snow mode as this feature is specifically designed to handle slippery roads. I felt much safer in this mode. It’s probably the mode the average person would use in everyday situations. However, in order to get the full experience, I did push myself to try out the sport mode to see what the car, and I, were both capable of. And just as any kid knows, slipping around in the snow, even a pricey luxury car, can be fun!

Related: Do You Need Winter Tires? How, and What to Know

If You Intend On Driving In Winter, Having The Proper Tire Is Essential. Photo By Infiniti

If you intend on driving in winter, having the proper tire is essential. Photo: Infiniti

3. Have Good Tires

Good tires are crucial.

For optimal safe driving in rough weather, winter tires are ideal. These tires designed specifically for winter weather, and are known as snow tires or winter tires. They provide better traction on snowy and icy roads.

What makes winter tires capable?

They are designed with deeper tread patterns and softer rubber compounds to grip the road better in cold weather conditions. It’s important to check your tires’ air pressure regularly. Also, ensure they have enough tread depth to provide optimal traction if you intend to travel through ice or snow.

Winter tires make all the difference

The tires used on the cars we drove were Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 Winter Tires. According to the Bridgestone website, these tires are designed to confidently handle the harshest winter conditions. They offer maximum traction, advanced pressure distribution, unique tread patterns, and responsive handling and are ideal for cold hard pavement, wet and cold conditions and slushy snow and even black ice. The Blizzak DM-V2 tires are not run-flat tires, which are typically found on Infiniti, but Bridgestone does offer all-season and winter run-flat tires. As a woman who frequently travels alone, I would probably opt for the run-flat tires.

Infiniti Shows Off The Q50 Black Opal Edition, Which Was A Slighting Different Color Depending On The Lighting. Photo By Holli Fourniquet

Infiniti shows off the Q50 Black Opal Edition, which was a slightly different color depending on the lighting. Photo: Holli Fourniquet

4. Speed, Distance, and Lights

Okay, so this adds up to more than four tips, but I wanted to include them all. Be sure you maintain a safe speed, leave plenty of distance between you and other vehicles, and especially avoid sudden stops or starts. It’s also essential to keep your car’s headlights on. Of course, always use your turn signals to alert other drivers of your intentions.

Confidence Comes From Practice and Good Coaching

Overall, I can say that after taking this course, I feel more confident driving in winter weather. Driving in snowy and icy conditions requires patience, caution, the right tools and practice.

I feel empowered because I would know what to do in crazy conditions, and also that I know what to look for in a car, SUV or truck if I were planning on driving a lot in snow and ice.

By adhering to the fundamentals and keeping a cool head, you can stay safe on the road during frigid conditions. And no matter where you are it seems, winter weather is in the forecast.

A Girls Guide To Cars | Winter Driving School Boosts My Confidence Driving In Snow And Ice - Pinterest Image Photo By Infiniti

I'm Holli Fourniquet; wife to Cory, mommy to 4-year old Tucker, and long time servant to our yappy chihuahua,... More about Holli Fourniquet