Thanks to a number of people at the Saratoga Automobile Museum, I recently spent a day participating in the “Survive The Drive” program at the Lime Rock Park road course in Sharon, CT. It turned out to be a great learning experience but also a lot of fun. For sure, it was nothing like my courses at Saratoga High School.

I learned in-depth skills I needed to become a better winter driver and a better driver overall. It was impressed on me that as a teen and a fairly new driver, I have to expect and be ready for anything and everything whenever I’m on the road, whether it be the other drivers or the elements.

Just like every other driver out there, I’m now aware that we need to hope for the best but expect and be prepared for the worst. In this case, the worst was driving in the snow on the “Survive The Drive” course. I was able to experience real life situations within the class and learned how to handle traction loss and where I should be looking when the car starts to lose its grip.

Race car driver Mark Hamilton Peters taught me how to drift in the snow without losing control and another experienced race car driver, Bob Green, taught me when it is and when it isn't ok to use the brake in a potential slide out. That was scary at first but a lot of fun once I got the hang of it.

I strongly recommend the driving school to any new driver (or adult) so they can know what to do to prevent accidents. It is important for every driver to know what it is like to lose control of a car and how to handle it.

The class was very enjoyable. It was exciting to see kids with their permits get out of their comfort zone and to have a race car driver teach you how to drift an Audi S3!

I’d like to thank Bob Green and the “Survive The Drive” organization along with staff members Seth Warden and Brandon Salls from the Saratoga Auto Museum and museum trustee Kevin Biebel, who sponsored my tuition for the course. It was the thrill of my young life and the opportunity to pick up driving skills that most people have to get the hard way, by crashing.