Driving on ice

Following on from yesterdays post “Snow day in VA” I recieved another tip from a good friend, and also realised I’d missed an obvious tip that especially applies when the roads are icey and the conditions freezing as they are today.  So here goes:

  • Tip from Von – Clean off your car – If it snows where you live, clean your car of snow and ice BEFORE you drive 70 mph on the interstate. Your flying frozen debris puts other drivers at risk not just from the ice, but also each other as they swerve to avoid the shattering fragments.  Von did say that he will wreak interesting revenge on anybody he knows who doesn’t do this…
  • Don’t brake on corners – This tip applies in all conditions, you should always try to brake in a straight line and only resort to breaking on corners if you absolutely have no other choice.  The reason is simple, most vehicles are setup so that the front brakes provide more of the stopping power than the back brakes so if you brake in a straight line and your brakes are working correctly the whole vehicle slows in a straight and controlled manner. However, if you brake on a bend the front of the car is slowing more than the back of the car, and if grip is lost for any reason (ice, gravel, snow, oil, rain, dust, limit of tyres performance, etc.) the car will “lose the tail” and spin out of control towards the outside of the bend.  This morning, with up to a quarter of an inch of ice on some roads, and slush covering most streets I was amazed to watch people braking mid-corner and then slamming on their brakes hard when the rear of their car began to slip away.  Two drivers had very lucky recoveries and it is safer to avoid this problem in the first place.

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