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Driving school – sort of…

September 28, 2017

I did it – got another thing scratched off my ”to do” list.

Long ago and far away, I learned how to drive in the winter time when the roads were full of snow and slippery conditions were a normal part of driving life.

Fast forward to life in Finland and being a one-car family; it meant I wasn’t doing a lot of driving and these days when I do it’s because I am headed to the arena (my second home). The winter weather conditions haven’t been ideal the last few years, but the road conditions can always leave one guessing in the winter.

I am getting older (we all are) and I felt like I needed to have a refresher on what to do in slippery conditions. We also got a new (second hand) car this summer and it’s an automatic (not my favourite alternative). As of now I am still learning to get used to it because it’s big, heavy and has a powerful engine. As a driver, I do not want to depend on the car to save me from sticky situations, gadgets and sensor technology do not interest me so much. I’d, yes, rather depend on my own wits and senses behind the wheel.

The Mr. offered to cough up the money for me to give some track driving a go. He shopped around and found a place that offered instruction in English.

So earlier today I was at the UAR Finland Road Excellence Centre in Nummela. I booked the training through Autokoulu Viheri based here in Espoo. For EUR 220, I got to be on the track for just over an hour and was able to ask and discuss with my instructor (Olli) for about 45 minutes afterwards. If you book something like this you have the option of using the driving school’s car or your own car. You can also opt for the instructor to have the brake pedal too.

The driving track in Nummela is covered in oil – vegetable oil. Let me tell ya, it was an interesting experience. I practiced keeping the car under control as it was sliding, sudden braking in slippery conditions and sudden braking on a normal surface.

What I was looking for was an opportunity to keep the car under control in slippery conditions and avoid doing what some people do in dangerous situations – over-steering. I kept the car on the track and overall it was a positive learning experience. I recommend it to anyone who has the time and the money to try it out.

At the end of the day, when driving, it is not the car that will save you, it is you – your speed and anticipation of things unfolding in front of you.

In Finland the single most preventable cause of traffic accidents is following too close… Back off a bit from the driver in front of you.

Drive safely!

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 8, 2017 1:35 pm

    What a great tip? Thank you! I have been thinking about the same kind if training for some time. Do you think the one hour lesson would enough even for a total beginner?

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