Driving under the influence (of freezing rain)

Driving instructor urges going back to the basics

Vanessa Tieman tried to disregard the raindrops that fell on her 4 Lakes Driving School car. 

Instead, she took them as a challenge, and a chance to teach her Sunday morning student how to best tackle the elements on the road.

“I think it’s necessary and I feel as though the students who are starting out their practice in this kind of weather are going to be better drivers in any kind of weather,” Tieman said.

Temperatures stayed above the freezing point for most of Sunday in Madison, while cars made their way through small rivers running down streets and puddles lined many sidewalks. All of that water could easily freeze overnight.


“Patience isn’t really something you can teach, but it definitely helps,” Tieman said of the best way to navigate through nasty weather. “A lot of people get into crashes because they’re driving too fast and they’re just not patient enough.”

Tieman said she’s able to remedy some bad habits early in the learning process. She advises her students — and everyone, for that matter — to simply take it slow on bad weather days.

“Accelerating slowly, giving yourself plenty of space to stop is really important,” Tieman added.