Teenager praises driving course after skid scare

A teenager who skidded on ice while driving with her younger sister has praised a driver training course which taught her to sharpen her skills.

Sam Searle, 17, skidded on a country road while she was driving to Wymondham College on Tuesday, November 6.

But thanks to the TREAD course, run by Norfolk County Council, Sam, who is in year 13, was able to act quickly after taking part in a skid training course a week earlier.

Sam, who was driving her sister Joanne, 13, to Thetford Grammar School from their home in Methwold, said: 'It was icy and I was going too fast around a corner. The back of the car spun and I went up the verge, down again and spun around. It was scary but I knew what to do because of the course.

'I managed to stay calm but my sister was scared.

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'I regained control and stopped on the side of the road.'

Sam, whose parents bought her a red Citroen C1 when she passed her driving test in April, was encouraged to do the course by her mum. Just a week before she skidded, Sam had attended a skid training course at Tibenham Airfield as part of the TREAD course.

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'It takes me about 45 minutes to drop my sister off at school and drive to college in the morning and a lot of that is on country roads.

'Skidding has not knocked my confidence, but I am more careful and I drive slower in the mornings,' Sam said. 'I bought my sister some flowers and chocolates to say sorry for scaring her.'

The course also teaches people basic car checks and safety, such as changing a wheel.

Guy McCurley, health and safety manager at Wymondham College, said that the course helps to save lives. 'As an ex Norfolk Fire and Rescue Officer and member of the multi agency Think! Road Safety In Norfolk partnership, I am very aware of the risk to young drivers and how a programme such as Tread can save lives. We are investing in the safety in the local community.'

For more information about the course contact Sally Plail, Norfolk County Council's Driver and Rider Development Manager on 01603 638121.

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