PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Have you ever felt that you were spinning out of control, literally, while driving down an icy road? Many people find themselves fearful of the snow and more tense on the road rather than confident. Some driving experts are ready to help those drivers learn the “do’s and don’ts” of snow driving.
Michael Schindel is an Instructor for Pitt Race, formerly Beaver Run Raceway in Wampum, Pa., and he’s giving KDKA listeners some helpful advice. Many of the toughest situations can have the simplest solutions.
“When you find yourself unable to stop, you need to focus your attention on an open area, not the telephone pole,” said Schindel. “Many times we think ‘worst-case scenario’ and accept crashing into another car, when in reality if you just refocus your attention to a clear area you could avoid collisions.”
He gives the example about policemen who end up getting hit while performing a simple traffic stop. Schindel believes that’s because the driver will get distracted by the police lights and end up driving right in to that area.
“Most of us driving don’t really know what happens, you’re taken by surprise by the feeling of the pedal,” said Schindel. “You think there’s something wrong with the car, you think it’s broken, and you panic and you freeze up and you stop driving. So what we do in our car control classes is we set up situations where we force you to panic stop as hard as you have ever used the brakes in your life. We force the ABS to come on so that you experience under controlled circumstances, so if it happens to you in traffic you’re prepared to know what that feels like.”
“We have the luxury of having six acres of perfectly flat asphalt where we can create different types of traffic scenarios,” said Schindel. “Whether it’s winter or summer or raining, traction is the number one name of the game. If you can understand what’s happening to the tire-road surface then you are in a better position to make informed decisions about how much traction you have and how safe you really are.”
On Saturday, Jan. 11, Pitt Race is hosting a Car Control Clinic at their facility. Unfortunately, this clinic is already full; however, they plan on creating a second one.
Prices range from $249 if you use your own car and $400 if you use a car they provide.
For further details, you can contact Pitt Race at 412-535-1000.