A pre-brief is given to help you understand how a car loses traction and what you can do to regain that traction or even better, prevent the loss of traction in the first place.
Front wheel skids, rear wheel skids and all wheel skids are covered as well as proper use of brakes (threshold braking vs. ABS braking).
This is NOT theoretical. You can learn in real time how to maximize the grip of your car and learn to be a proactive driver rather than a reactive driver.
A pre-brief is given to help you understand how Electronic Stability Control works and how it, along with Traction Control and Anti-lock Brake Systems coordinate to help you stay on the path you intended.
It is imperative to understand that there is always a limit to the available traction. Should your speed exceed that available traction, the vehicle will lose control.
Four Wheel drive vs. rear wheel drive may be explored in this class as well.
AlaskA Safe Driver Academy LLC
How do you safely train for the most dangerous situations on the road without the risk? We have three distinct ways to train drivers for these conditions. While SKIDCAR System allows drivers to experience loss of grip on dry or wet surfaces, we have found it is best to teach these classes in the winter without the SKIDCAR frame.
Why? The SKIDCAR's strength is allowing an instructor to reduce the current coefficient of friction on a given surface. Once we have a solid base of ice or snow, we no longer need to reduce the friction.
While all three of our winter/ adverse conditions courses teach the same fundamentals (use of eyes, steering, pedal control, weight shift, critical thinking), only our VR Motion fully immersive, full motion platform system allows drivers to experience these situations at actual speeds encountered on real roads.
Why VR Motion? The biggest challenge in training drivers with respect to dangerous conditions or loss of control scenarios is having a large enough area where drivers can safely experience loss of control without interference from other drivers or pedestrians. We solve that in our SKIDCAR and Winter Driving Courses by using a private property that we are allowed to block off.
COVID changed several things. Regal Cinemas/ Totem Theater shut down for about a year. We had to find another property to train on. We are extremely grateful to Regal Cinemas for their generosity and understand why they had to change their operation.
We too had to change our operation. In the past, we keep the high cost of SKIDCAR training down by allowing multiple drivers to train at the same time (rotating drivers). This is great training model as it allows drivers to both observe and then apply what they are learning. But due to current health concerns, we can no longer offer this system.
Training like commercial pilots: VR Motion uses 3 dimensional Virtual Reality, combined with telemetry feedback to the chassis, pedals and steering wheel that a driver will feel, hear and see when they drive in an actual vehicle. Commercial pilots have been training for dangerous events using simulators for decades. One of the most famous success stories is that of Captain Sully, who credits his ability to practice emergency water landings on a simulator as the reason he was able to safely land his airliner in the Hudson river.
Make it REAL: With our full motion, fully immersive, Virtual Reality driving simulator, we can now give drivers actual weather changes (sun glare, fog, night, twilight, snow, rain, thunderstorms, blizzards, etc.), multi-lane freeway, country roads, city driving, elevation changes (line of sight, tight turns, effects of hills on braking, acceleration and turning, for example).
New opportunities: Using our simulator, we can now allow drivers to safely experience how to deal with one, two or even all four tires leaving the road. Most drivers overreact in this dangerous situation or don't fully realize what will happen if they suddenly apply full braking force on unequal surfaces (pavement vs shoulder). With our simulator, we can turn on or off the Anti-lock brake system, traction control and electronic stability system. This allows drivers to completely understand the best means of solving this dangerous situation.
Experience in training: We have been using the VR Motion system since early 2020. Drivers get one on one time with the instructor, and are given the chance to repeat the exercises multiple times.
More control, less cost: You won't have to wait for snow to experience snow. Want to practice on a dark rainy night? We can set that up in seconds. You pay less, too. Because we have far less costs involved, we can offer this program at a lower cost.
Choose what fits you best. At present, we are offering our Winter Driving course at Change Point Church parking area from late November, early December thru mid February. If you prefer to practice in an actual vehicle, this course may be best for you.
If you prefer to experience loss of control at actual speeds and want to understand how to deal with more extreme issues, there is nothing that can compare to our VR Motion simulator classes.
Due to COVID, we are not offering our SKIDCAR classes at present.
The very best in driver training in Anchorage and Alaska is here! For the first time in Alaska, civilian drivers can improve their skills in complete safety. More than just winter driving safety tips, now you can actually experience loss of traction in complete safety.
In 2007, the Anchorage Police Department implemented this program and was able to report a 59% reduction in officer crashes!
This is a true measure of a programs success.
Drivers are taught how skids occur and how to deal with a loss of traction if it does occur.
Our goal is to help drivers to become a more proactive driver and to develop advanced insight. Graduates of our course find that they no longer have to recover from skids because of what they have learned.
A proactive driver is defined as one who uses superior knowledge to avoid situations that require superior skill.
With a SKIDCAR, the instructor has full control of how much, or how little traction you will have.If an emergency occurs, the instructor can immediately return full traction to the vehicle with a simple push of a button.
The SKIDCAR will not allow the vehicle to roll over. If you were to do the same maneuvers on dry or wet pavement without a SKIDCAR, a roll over would be a very real risk!
During winter months, we use our SKIDCAR host vehicle without running the outriggers as they are not necessary to achieve the same loss of traction.
It is imperative to understand that we use a very specific course layout to prevent any skid from going too far or becoming too dangerous!
Our SKIDCAR instructor has years of experience using this specific course and has trained side by side with law enforcement instructors.
For a novice to do what we do, without specific instructor training and experience, without a closed training range and without full understanding of the outcomes would be extremely reckless.
We operate on a closed course. We have a legal agreement with Change Point Church. The training area is well marked to prevent and discourage cross traffic. Students are insured and legally permitted to conduct the training on this property when they are with us.
Drivers learn how front wheel, rear wheel and all wheel skids occur, how to properly react to these loss of traction situations, and most importantly, how to prevent the loss of control in the first place.
You won't have to wait for winter to be in full swing to get practice learning about traction. We can train in the middle of summer. In fact, why not take lessons on how to maximize your control and traction before the snow comes?
We can set up front wheel, rear wheel, all wheel skids and demonstrate anti-lock brakes versus threshold braking methods every time we train, regardless of the weather.
We provide access to a legal area to train, the equipment and the most qualified instructors. And of course, it costs much LESS than your insurance deductible or a reckless driving charge!
A WORD OF CAUTION: Conducting these types of driving exercises without the landowners permission, insurance on the property, safeguards against interference (barricades to prevent traffic), and other measures for safety would constitute RECKLESS DRIVING. This is a serious charge, on par with DUI or negligent homicide with a vehicle. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REPLICATE THESE MANEUVERS WITHOUT THE PROPER SAFEGUARDS IN PLACE.
IT IS ILLEGAL AND VERY DANGEROUS.
We cover all these costs and legal arrangements for you.
Front wheel skids are nearly impossible to set up reliably and definitely not safe without use of a SKIDCAR on dry or wet pavement. The speed needed to make the front wheels skid are far too high even if using a massive area like the Sullivan arena (the largest open parking lot in Anchorage). The space requirements for a safe runout are not practical. Just ask any experienced EVOC police trainer who has SKIDCAR experience. The SKIDCAR allows us to accomplish the front wheel skid EVERY TIME at less than 25 mph and in a space the size of a few tennis courts!
We don't theorize and you don't have to guess at what really works. You will be able to practice what works and what doesn't work first hand, while driving naturally.
In the past, many novices would set up a "rear wheel" skid by pulling the parking brake while the driver would suddenly turn the wheel. This is very dangerous as it teaches severe over reaction and causes multiple secondary skids (fishtailing) that should never occur if the driver is trained properly.
Our goal is to teach drivers to maintain as much control of their car as possible at all times. So we don't subscribe to unrealistic or unsafe methods.
In our classes, you won't have to worry about getting in trouble with the police or the property owner, either!
ESC, TC & ABS: With the majority of vehicles on the road today employing traction aides and all vehicles model year 2012 and later having ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL integrated into the vehicle, the days of going to a parking lot and stomping on the gas to initiate a rear wheel skid are GONE! The ESC will kick in and prevent you from developing any skids at low or moderate speeds.
To ensure students fully understand skid causation, recovery and prevention, we turn ESC, TC & ABS completely off for part of our class.
Please understand: this is far more than simply pushing the "Traction control OFF" switch. Our method completely disables all ESC, TC, ABS functions.
Using a closed course, and fully understanding exactly how the vehicle will slide are crucial in practicing without these life saving functions.
We do not recommend that novices ever fully disable ESC, TC, ABS.
You would have to grossly over accelerate and severely over steer to create the skids of yesteryear. It is far too dangerous to "play" with ESC for the average driver. Once you finally get the car to skid, you are so far past the safe limits of traction and your speed is so high that if anything goes wrong, it will be serious and expensive.
Using a SKIDCAR, we can SAFELY allow you to experience any skid (front wheel, rear wheel, all wheel, braking and accelerating) with only 6mph to 25mph. And you will only have to drive NATURALLY - so you learn to respond to traction loss correctly!
Come experience what the officers in Alaska KNOW. SKIDCAR training is used by the Anchorage Police Department and Alaska State Trooper for a reason: it is the very BEST WAY TO TRAIN.