Young drivers a particular concern when it comes to winter driving
It a danger on the roads this time of year -- young people dealing with weather conditions behind the wheel.
You may remember the recent crash involving school bus in Edwardsburg. Police say a teenager lost control of her car on snowy roads. The driver of the car suffered injuries.
A day prior, two young men aged 20 and 21 died in separate crashes when police say they lost control on snowy roads.
What advice do experts have for young drivers?
WSBT spoke to a driving instructor who shared with us some of the techniques he teaches teen drivers.
He says young and older drivers both need to keep in mind this principle: Driving requires your full attention.
Experts say even though cars are safer now than ever before, accidents are still on the rise because of distracted driving. That's why driving instructors at Frick's Driving School in Mishawaka are urging drivers to focus on the road.
"It's very necessary in the winter time, because if you don't see something it takes longer for you to react to it -- and that can make it too late in the winter time," said Jerry Amstutuz, Frick's Driving Instructor.
Amstutz has been teaching driving for years. He says teens should remember to not only clear off snow from the windshield and mirrors, but also headlights and taillights.
"I do recommend that your use headlights 24/7, even though the state doesn't require it,” he said. “I think that's just a good thing to do. It makes you more visible to other people."
Lisa Tomkins has a teenage daughter at Mishawaka High School. Her daughter has just started learning how to drive.
"I tell her, ‘It's not just you I'm concerned about, I'm concerned about the other person."
Amstutz says if a young driver finds themselves slipping and sliding on icy roads, it's good to know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is by keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
He says you want to turn into the direction your car is going.
Tomkins says one thing her daughter won't become is another distracted driver.
"She has a phone,” Tomkins said. “She's had it for a couple of years and she knows that's one thing she won't be doing when she's driving."
Some other things to keep in mind: Experts say be aware of bridges and overpasses because they tend to freeze faster than other road surfaces.
Consider getting winter tires, which add more traction.
And put a survival kit in your car that includes supplies like extra blankets, flashlights, and even a small shovel.