Mailbag: Expert Advice on Becoming a Better Driver

Letters from the editorial team.

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Welcome to Mailbag, a roundup of the best comments, questions and tips from you, our readers. Some are nice, some are not so nice. But here they are.

How Can I Be a Better Driver?


Driver’s Ed, for Adults


We got the following email from a reader, Manuel.

Hi I’m Manuel, I would like to know what kind of courses I can do for practice how to became a good car driver? Can I have any advice? thank you very much.
— Manuel

We sent it along to our Motoring team. Here’s what they had to say.

Automotive Writer, Bryan Campbell: There are actually a handful of performance driving schools that use tracks across the U.S., so chances are there’s one not too far away from wherever you are. Skip Barber is probably the most renowned, offering the widest range of classes, from defensive driving courses to all-out formula car racing schools. But the best one they offer, by far, is the three-day MX-5 race school. It teaches you to find the limits of a car, but because you’re in a Miata, you’re never actually going all that fast.

(I can say so from experience.)

Automotive Editor, Nick Caruso: One of the best driving instruction experiences I’ve had was through Cadillac’s V Performance Lab, which introduces potential and current V-Series owners to the race-worthiness of the V-Series cars. They’re absolutely astonishing on the track; Cadillac makes sure attendees get the most out of the experience with a day’s worth of lead-follow laps around a challenging race track, slalom and skidpad maneuver instruction and much more.

But if you’re not able to swing the tuition and travel fees for a VPL day or one of the schools Bryan mentioned (or if you just want extra practice), you could learn car handling skills like I did, as a 15 year-old driving student. I’d never driven in my life before getting in the driver’s seat. It was December in West Michigan and there were two feet of snow on the ground. And away we went. The ability to safely and confidently control a car in inclement weather and/or slippery conditions is an indispensable skill set for any driver: helpful for wintertime, and even helpful on bone-dry roads.

Have a question of your own? Send us an email here.

Vintage Finds of the Week


Your Weekend Ride


Each week, our team rounds up vintage rides you can bid on from home. This week, the very first Mustang hardtop ever produced went up for auction. Would you bid? Let us know on Facebook.

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How to Do a Proper Hood Slide


A Live Demo


Okay, so this isn’t a post from this week, but it’s an essential car-related skill nonetheless.

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