Eric Smith is a driving instructor for AAA. He provides private lessons for new and inexperienced drivers.

“For me and my life, I love teaching people things,” Smith said. “So, if I can teach somebody how to do something that’s what fulfills me in my life.”

He works with a lot of young adults preparing to pass their drivers test. He says it takes about five years of driving to have the average amount of experience of other drivers.

Winter weather conditions are some of the most difficult to adjust to and dangerous to drive in. AAA estimates nearly half of weather related crashes happen in the colder months.

“Younger adults sometimes don’t understand that until something bad happens to them and then they get a better understanding,” Smith said.

Eric advices parents of new drivers to take their kids to an empty parking lot when there is snow or ice on the ground and practice driving fast and stopping to demonstrate what could go wrong.

“The students that I have I treat them like they are my own children and I want them to learn and be safe drivers on the road because also I’m driving and my family is driving on the same roads that they are,” he said.

Even experienced drivers can lose control of their vehicles in the snow, Eric says cars are becoming faster and easier to drive- which can lead to aggressive driving.

But he says if you take it slow, you’ll arrive at your destination safely. 

“Not only am I helping them grow and become adults but I’m also teaching them driver safety so they can use some of these techniques later on in life and continue to be good drivers around for the rest of the community,” he said.

Other essential winter driving tips are to leave more space between you and other cars, and stopping before turning.   ​