Just What I've Always Wanted - Advanced Driving Lessons!

Ever watch NASCAR or a high-speed chase in the movies? Ever think you could do that? Well, you can but not instinctively. Advanced driving lessons require learning different skills than every day driving. Many police are required to take advanced driving courses so that they can safely and effectively handle their squad card while pursuing a criminal.

Most criminals crash, anyway, because they just aren't The Blues Brothers. So you can give yourself the gift of learning how to drive at high speeds with a minimum of being shot at. Advanced driving lessons are becoming a popular and unique gift, so you may be able to get someone else to pony up for them.

Is It Safe?

Advanced driving instructors, as well as the schools they work for, all need to pass examinations and be licensed not only to drive, but to teach driving. You'll often be given safety equipment like a helmet. You won't be tearing the city streets, but will most likely be on an empty racetrack.

The instruction car tends to have brakes on both the driver and passenger's side. The course is usually only for a couple of hours in one day. You won't be able to make Dario Franchitti jealous, but you will at least learn some basics of advanced driving that may help you for the rest of your life.

The only danger to you is to your wallet. The lessons cost from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on what kind of car you drive or if any extras are thrown in. Be sure to check their cancellation or refund policies before buying any advanced driving lessons.

The Nitty Gritty

Advanced driving lessons are more of a fun mini-vacation than school, but it often begins with some classroom instruction. If the weather is extreme, the classes will be cancelled for the day, but mild rain won't be a problem. Dress in lightweight clothes. You will have to prove that you are a legally licensed driver. You will often have to sign a legal release form, too.

The key to advanced driving lessons is being completely focused on what the car is doing and where it is going. This is no time to talk on the phone and sip coffee. At high speeds, you have to begin braking for turns long before you would at 35 miles per hour. You also need to learn how to regain control of a car if it goes into a skid.