maxpro/Shutterstock Between slippery roads and snowy settings, winter driving is the worst. And it’s just one of the ways winter is trying to kill you—here are the others. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 24 percent of weather-related car accidents happen on “snowy, slushy, or icy pavement,” and almost 70 percent of the U.S. population lives in areas afflicted with these conditions. Now resorts are offering vacations focused on conquering winter driving: Whether you want to take on the harsh winters of the New England or the frigid climates of Finland, car companies such as Land Rover and Porsche have created winter driving experiences in snowy areas around the globe.
Equinox Resorts in Manchester, Vermont, for example, offers a Land Rover Driving Experience School. Here, in the middle of winter, car aficionados not only get to test out the latest car models, they get personally coached during a one or two-hour class. During that time, you will learn off-road skills to take on the most extreme terrain on nearby trails. If that’s not enough, there’s also a full day adventure where you enjoy a picnic lunch in a remote location as part of your Vermont vacation.
“The experience allows the driver to take control of one of Mother Nature’s most uncontrollable elements, all while safely taking in the scenic views,” says John Burnham, general manager of Kimpton Taconic, which will help book the Land Rover driving adventure. “The snowier, the better!”
Out west, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, you can participate in the Bridgestone Winter Driving School where you learn practical skills of handling tough winter road conditions. You’ll feel more comfortable taking that drive to the grocery store in a snow storm knowing that you were able to handle a winterized track, where the school holds their lessons. The tracks are ultra-slippery, coated with more than 250,000 gallons of reclaimed water, and feature challenging banked and off-cambered corners with numerous elevation changes.
For something a bit more exotic, a number of the luxury cars makers hold winter driving schools across Europe. Lamborghini hosts a Winter Academia in Italy: Find out how these exotic cars can handle ice just as well as they can hug curves on a race track. Guests can try two levels of training with experts who have F1 credits under their belts.
Meanwhile, Porsche’s winter driving experience takes place in Levi, Finland, north of the Arctic Circle. During the multi-day course, you can practice driving safely on a snowy and icy road, and progress through four different levels. Bonus: you get to look stylish in one of the hottest luxury cars on the market.
So, whether you’re a car fanatic, adventure junkie, or simply want to learn how to handle your car better this snowy season—here are some tips, a driving experience might just be the perfect excuse for a winter getaway.