Learning to drive in winter brings a whole host of challenges, particularly in Britain’s unpredictable climate. However, these challenges deliver opportunities for learner drivers to develop their skills with safe, professional driving instructors.

learning to drive in winter

How Learning To Drive In Winter Creates Well-Rounded Motorists

Many drivers encounter motoring challenges and emergencies for the first time well after their test. Inexperienced new drivers must rely on passengers, phones, and relatives to get them out of trouble in these emergencies. By contrast, encountering motoring challenges with a driving instructor gives new drivers the patience, skills, and resources to solve problems independently. By this measure, new drivers should throw themselves in at the deep end and learn towards the point of difficulty. Learning to drive in winter is no exception.

The Advantages Of Learning To Drive In Winter

Many learner drivers also study full time, so their schedules depend on the academic calendar. Learning to drive in winter often frees pupils from summer exam season stress. This lets student learners dedicate themselves to their sessions on the road. The challenging winter weather conditions may also put people off driving lessons, freeing up driving instructors’ schedules along the way. Determined new drivers make the most of this scheduling freedom with some rewarding winter lessons.

The Challenges Of Learning To Drive In Winter

Winter driving is not all fun and games. Despite being the season of goodwill, winter driving conditions create hazards, distractions, and congestion on the road. Chris Rea famously notices these conditions in the song Driving Home for Christmas, describing roads ‘top to toe in tailbacks’ with ‘red lights all around’. However, like a Christmas song with a happy ending, learning to drive in winter with a reliable driving instructor helps mitigate these challenges. Learning through such challenges first-hand creates safe and skilful new drivers.

The Winter Sun

The winter sun often surprises new drivers: despite the chill, the sun glares brighter than ever in colder months. As the sun rises and sets lower in the sky, it often shines directly into drivers’ eyes. Coupled with more rain and snow, the dazzling winter sun causes big problems for new and experienced drivers alike.

Of course, motorists must learn to handle glare no matter what. Working with driving instructors to learn about winter glare, learners can solve these issues safely. Practical solutions include scheduling driving lessons away from sunrises and sunsets and planning routes with the sun’s direction in mind. Some learners opt for sunglasses to prevent dazzling, and others simply take breaks whenever they need.

The Winter Darkness

Winter means shorter days and longer nights, a daunting prospect for some new drivers. However, others find learning to drive during winter nights a rewarding possibility. Darkness offers drivers a chance to see other cars’ headlights in stark relief, particularly in street-lit areas. For many future commuters, night-time driving lessons develop crucial skills to take forward throughout life.

Winter Windscreens

Frost, ice, and snow, winter’s gifts to British drivers, take time and experience to manage. Many new motorists opt for learning to drive in winter to develop the expertise required.

Scraping a windscreen, or leaving it covered overnight, helps get ready for a lesson, as it helps drivers prepare for essential trips and commutes. Extreme wintry temperatures, coupled with the reckless tactic of warm water washes to melt windscreen frost, can cause cracks and even shattered panes. Learners often seek guidance for these issues from a professional driving instructor. Those who do seek advice find themselves more equipped in later life.

Navigating Winter Roads

Theory tests teach new drivers to increase stopping distances in wintry conditions. Ice on the roads causes hazards like skidding, impaired braking, and loss of control. The more experience a learner has besides them when encountering these hazards for the first time, the better. Trained driving instructors help learners avoid these hazards on their wintry drives. It takes a trained eye to notice black ice and an experienced driver to steer the car safely over it.

Learning To Drive During Winter Temperatures

In winter, Jack Frost nips the noses of drivers and pedestrians alike, making slippery and dazzling drives even harder. New drivers occasionally suffer through shivering and misted breath, particularly when they fail to wrap up well or use the car’s heating system. Learners should choose warm clothes in winter, while ensuring that their layers keep their movements free.

Foggy breath in cold weather also creates vision-impairing condensation on windows. Driving instructors guide new learners through operating demisters and managing their windscreens safely.

Conclusions – Is Learning To Drive In Winter A Good Idea?

Ultimately, winter conditions make driving a difficult yet often unavoidable task. Learning to drive in winter challenges new drivers, but encountering winter challenges alone without prior experience makes them all the more tricky. Scheduling in with a driving instructor during the winter months prepares learners for life on the road in the full range of British weather.