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      Winter driving classes offered

      For a U.P. resident, driving in winter weather is like taking out the trash: you may not love it, but you have to do it, constantly.

      Driving on snowy roads is a treacherous task, but there are some tips to make it safer, and the Keweenaw Research Center teaches classes to help.

      "There is a little theory behind it that if you understand it, it helps you become a better driver even if you've had experience," said KRC Driving Instructor Mark Osborne.

      First thing is to make sure your vehicle is properly equipped with snow tires for extra grip.

      "Grip is really important--if you lose grip, you can't steer," Osborne said.

      Now when you get in your car, there are a couple of first steps you should take to ensure your safety. Step one, put on a good pair of sunglasses since the snow's very bright when the sun reflects off of it. Step two, make sure you are a safe distance from the wheel--not too close, not too far away either. Step three is, of course, buckle up.

      Also, hold the steering wheel at the three and nine o'clock points, for your best range of motion.

      Once you're driving, be aware that you might lose control, and if you fishtail, experts say to steer in the direction your rear is sliding, slow down, and never slam on the breaks.

      Once you know what you're doing, it's really not that hard.

      "I've lived up here for 20 years and it was still enlightening to go to it; a group of engineers, I mean, they can give you so much information on how the car is behaving," said KRC driving student Ruth Ann Smith.

      If you'd like to sign up for a class, go to the Keweenaw Research Center website .