KENNEWICK, Wash. — "It's surprising how many people are not good drivers on bad roads."
Bryan Ball knows the roads of the Tri-Cities well. A former Washington State Patrol trooper and now a driving instructor at Tri-Cities 911 Driving School, Ball has to know how to drive in all kinds of weather.
But he admits younger drivers don't have the street smarts to deal with the dangers yet.
According to AAA statistics taken between 2010 - 2014, drivers 16 to 24 years old are the most likely to end up in car crashes while driving in snow, while drivers under 20 are the most likely to crash on ice.
Ball has an answer for that: "Inexperience. They don't know what to expect. That's why we spend so much time in the classroom telling them what to expect. Look for the clues
He says those clues can be found by watching other cars, knowing the outside temperature and using their senses to judge road conditions.
For example, if a driver suddenly can't hear their tires, there's a good chance it's icy.
Ball says the recent weather also provides students the chance to take what they’re learning out of the classroom and into the snow.
"We'll take any advantage that we can of natural occurrences out there, so we'll take them out on the roads. We'll find some areas.”
Ball says the classes work on turning correctly when a car is skidding, as well as how the anti-lock brake works.
“Our main goal with the traffic safety here is to prevent the collisions, teach them how to drive and also be defensive."
And hopefully save a young life...
The Tri-Cities 911 Driving School is located at 6607 W. Canal Drive in Kennewick.
Ball says last year the school had 1,100 students.