A really cool program out of Deschutes County, Oregon is back after hiatus due COVID-19. For $100 anyone looking to sharpen their driving skills in slick winter conditions can do so in the dog days of summer.
Central Oregon Daily reports the program includes one hour of classroom instruction followed by three hours of hands-on driving in the skid car. Ski car instructor, Michael Johnston, had this to say about the specialized setup:
“There’s a wheeled frame and hydraulic dolly that attaches to the frame of a regular car. By elevating the car, we can take traction away from the tires and make it skid and slide like it’s on ice and snow any time. It can be on bare pavement. We can use it during inclement weather. It doesn’t matter what the weather is, we can make it slide like its on snow and ice.”
Trainees learn everything from the proper use of antilock brakes to understanding the differences between operating a vehicles with rear wheel drive, front wheel drive, four wheel drive systems and electronic stability control.
Absolutely love this program and think it would be an excellent addition to any municipality that experiences winter driving conditions. Great value and honestly something that looks like a fun way to spend and afternoon.
To learn how to be 100% in control of your vehicle, 100% of the time visit the Deschutes County skid car website.
Deschutes County SkidCar Training is an all-weather driver enhancement program taught with the aid of the SKIDCAR System. The SKIDCAR framework attaches to the suspension of a vehicle to allow the front and rear tires to be lifted or lowered independently with a controller. The system allows drivers to experience the inclement driving conditions that cause a vehicle to lose traction in a safe and controlled learning environment. The course is available through Deschutes County Risk Management and sponsored by the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners. Gift certificates are available for purchase through Deschutes County Risk Management.
The program incorporates one hour of classroom instruction followed by three hours of hands-on driving in the vehicle. The instructor will cover various techniques, including proper eye placement, acceleration, braking, steering, weight and energy management, as well as proper tire decisions and maintenance. Participants will learn the proper use of antilock braking systems and understand the differences between rear wheel drive, front wheel drive and four wheel drive systems, as well as Electronic Stability Control and Electronic Traction Control in modern vehicles. Participants will also discuss and practice skid/slide prevention, control and recovery.
The course is taught by retired Deschutes County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Michael Johnston, who has over 30 years of experience in law enforcement. Michael was the lead developer and instructor for the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Vehicle Operations Training Program. Currently, Michael serves as a Senior Instructor for the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.
SkidCar Training is available to members of the general public for a $100.00 fee. Classes are offered seven days a week (starting at 8:00 am or 1:00 pm) and capacity is limited to three participants each – private classes are not available.