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Extreme driving: how to steer in the snow

Экстремальное вождение

Seasons change every year occurs suddenly, despite the obvious signs, such as the month on the calendar or the thermometer outside the window. As many of us try to solve problems as they arrive, drivers are not ready for the obvious. In addition, there are often riders who have the habit of aggressive driving extends not only to dry asphalt.

In general, even if all this is not about you, nobody is insured against problems on the winter road. It is important to remember that frequent rain, snow, temperature fluctuations and diminishing daylight hours inevitably affect the state of the roadway, visibility and well-being of all road users. Below we give the facts that everyone should learn before going to ride a car on a wonderful winter day.

Together with Ford Safe Driving Academy coaches and Men'sHealth magazine have prepared a comprehensive guide to winter driving.

To go fast on slippery surfaces should not even be on the spikes. If you brake at high speed, nothing will help you - the car will carry it anyway.

What rubber to choose

Экстремальное вождение

The choice between studded rubber and velcro must be approached intelligently, with the same precision as the choice of, say, the future spouse. There is no universal solution. It is necessary to take into account the region of use of the machine and other factors. A very important point - it is a passenger car or a heavy SUV.

In most cases, the choice is made on the basis of personal preferences, as well as, for example, between pants and jeans. The first thing worth forgetting is about demi-season tires! Believe the word, wheels are not something to save on.

In general, the question of which rubber to choose has a short and informative answer: if you mostly drive around the city, it is sticky, but with frequent trips outside the settlement, only spikes. You never know what the winter is preparing, so it is important to know the causal relationships of the choice of a rubber.

Velcro does not really stick to anything: at the moment when the tread “rolls” into the contact patch, the rubber pattern works like hundreds of small lugs. When driving on smooth asphalt, the spikes sink into the wheel, and the grip is much worse than that of velcro. This is in addition to the fact that the spikes also destroy asphalt, so studded tires are simply prohibited in many European countries. But if you are going to autotravel (especially in Russia), it is still better to choose the spikes.

On long roads and roads there are open areas on which peremety appear (snow moved by the wind and lying in stripes across the road), which are rolled by cars and freeze. If braking occurs on such a surface, the spike pierces the top of the ice and holds the wheel. You can ride calmly on that and on other tires. But go fast on slippery surfaces should not be even on the spikes. If you brake at high speed, nothing will help you - the car will still carry it, so in winter you need to be able to restrain the impulse to lower your right leg and always take into account weather conditions.

√ USEFUL: Chains are put on the wheels when the car goes on a deep loose surface. Most often they are used for snow or clay. As soon as the wheel hits the clay, the tread pattern very quickly becomes clogged with dirt, the rubber becomes smooth as a skating rink and starts to slip.

How to brake quickly

Экстремальное вождение

A skid is one of the most common and dangerous hazards that can happen on a winter road. In order not to get into this situation, you need to understand its causes. As a rule, skidding occurs due to speeding, as well as due to the change of direction of braking, which entails merciless centrifugal force. The centrifugal force is the mass multiplied by the square of speed and divided by the turning radius. We cannot influence the mass, we are limited by the radius of the road, and more often than not our lane. However, the formula has a square of speed, and it is subservient to us. Even a slight excess of this figure leads to a sharp increase in centrifugal force, which throws the car out of a turn. At this point, it is unlikely that something is able to keep the car. Also on a snowy road there is always the chance to accidentally call on the side of the road. At such moments, a force is formed that turns the car in the direction of a more stable wheel - that is, it will most likely turn you into an oncoming lane. The most practical advice on how to brake and avoid drifts - do not exceed the speed. But still, sometimes there are moments when you are distracted, and you do not immediately notice an obstacle, or something unexpectedly blocks the way. In such a situation, emergency braking is the only way out. So, if the car is equipped with the ABS system, push the brake to the floor and do not let go as long as possible on the straight line. Braking and turning the steering wheel are two badly combined factors: if you turn it, you will get a lengthening of the braking distance.

Front wheel drive car is stable on the straight. You can lose control on it with a sharp acceleration and high speed. Rear wheel drive is the opposite. on the straight less stable. When speed is reached, the rear part starts to wag, and a gas discharge causes the machine to stabilize.

The second point - try to drive around the obstacle only at the lowest speed. Do not try to do it with a steering jerk, like the Nash Bridges Desert (remember that?). The lower the speed at which you start the maneuver, the greater the chance that you will begin to move in the direction in which you planned. Bear in mind that studded tires will respond to a steering turn earlier than a velcro. The difference in stopping distance will be approximately 5-7%. Most often, when an accident is not enough meters or even less to stop. In this case, the spikes will certainly help, but even with them you should not relax.

What to do if skidded

Anyone can get into the ice drift. Everyone should know how to get out of it, and for this you should familiarize yourself with the materiel. The word "skid" combines several different concepts:

  • Sliding: the front axle is stable and the rear axle slides, i.e. the car turns to a greater angle than expected (oversteering).
  • Demolition: the rear wheels are stable and the front wheels slide. In this case, when turning the car does not go behind the wheel, but continues to move in a straight line.
  • Complete destabilization: slide all 4 wheels. To bring the car out of this situation is possible, but not easy: you need a lot of space.

The skid most often occurs when the speed decreases during steering. The center of gravity of most cars is not in the middle, but a little closer to the front, respectively, the pressure on the ground from the front wheels is greater. When the car brakes, the center of gravity shifts forward, increasing the pressure on the front. The effectiveness of the wheel engagement is determined by the pressure force, that is, at any moment the unloaded rear end can move out of the way. When overclocking, everything happens in the opposite direction - the center of gravity shifts back, the front one unloads (remember the rule of “speed bumps”?). Front wheel drive car is stable on the straight. You can lose control on it with a sharp acceleration and high speed. Rear wheel drive is the opposite. on the straight less stable. When speed is reached, the rear part starts to wag, and a gas discharge causes the machine to stabilize.

√ USEFUL: If the feed has started to live its own life, it is necessary to turn the steering wheel gently and clearly towards the drift. Simultaneously:

  • On the rear wheel drive car - release the gas pedal (forget about the brake);
  • On the front-wheel drive - on the contrary, slightly increase the fuel supply.

When the car began to get out of the skid, return the steering wheel to the "straight" position. If you do not do it in time, you will be carried to the other side. If you do everything right, you will go further.

A couple more tips

Экстремальное вождение

So that in your confidence during winter travels, there is not a single gap left, here's another tip: always carefully watch where you're going, or rather, for what.

There is one old trick - when you go, you see that the road has one monochrome cover, of the same color. Any dark spot is either a hole, a puddle or frost. You need to be sensitive to all dark spots on the road, especially in the light of headlights.

The ice is always in place where everyone is slowing down: before turning, before pedestrian crossings and at the entrance to the bus stops.

If we are talking about the road - at intersections and in other places where they usually slow down. Driving up to this area, brake a little earlier and stronger. By the end, do not put on the brake, but slightly loosen it.

√ USEFUL: Driving on a winter road is difficult and unpredictable. Plan your route and leave in advance, so as not to have to hurry, and always keep your attention focused.