Outside, it was a mild afternoon in late spring, but behind the wheel of the Ford Crown Victoria, it was the dead of winter, the pavement covered by black ice.
The effect is the result of a “skid car,” a set of hydraulic lifts attached to casters. By lifting the wheels of the car off the ground, it mimics the feeling of sliding on ice or hydroplaning.
With a few pushes of the button, an instructor can cause a driver to lose power to the back wheels or the front wheels, or both.
With the help of the skid car, Boulder police officers got to practice their winter driving skills in a low-stakes environment this week as part of their annual in-service training.