5 Defensive Driving Techniques That Should Be Memorized Once and for All
The most important rule for when you're in a drift is not to brake. We mean than blocked wheels don't let the driver control the car at all. There are only two ways of dealing with drifts, and they are different for each type of drive.
We at Bright Side are sure that you know these methods, but we still have a few secrets from the specialists of defensive driving to offer you.
Where danger can come from
- The places where people brake more often are usually the most slippery: before turns, pedestrian crossings, and bus stops. Be most attentive when you come close to bridges, tunnels, and entrances and exits to overpasses. You should keep the same speed there and start braking early.
- In winter, the distance between two cars should two times bigger than in summer. But don't leave too much space because someone else will definitely want to get in the middle, which is dangerous for all three cars.
- Don't look only at the car in front of you. Keep it in your sight, but also look further — 4-5 cars further. This way you can see dangerous parts of the road before the car in front of you gets there.
- In winter, you shouldn't push the clutch pedal together with the brake pedal. In this case, the wheels can get blocked and the car will be put into a drift.
ABS car owners. The anti-lock braking system is a very useful feature of all new cars, which neutralizes the brake pedal on icy roads if you push it too fast and too hard. Instead of braking suddenly, the system causes the pedal to vibrate, so you can turn the wheel and put it in the initial position.
None ABS car owners. Defense driving instructors think that the best way to brake in winter is using the brake pedal together with the downshift speeds. You should push the brake pedal shortly and then fully unblock the wheels. Repeat before the full stop.
3 types of drifting
- Sliding: the front axis is stable, the rear one slide, the car turns more than expected.
- Drift: the rear wheels are stable, the front ones slide, the car moves forward when turning.
- Full destabilization: all four wheels slide, the direction of movement is unpredictable.
How to regain control
If your car starts drifting, don't hit the brake pedal.
If your car is rear-wheeled, pull back on the throttle and turn your wheel in the direction of the drift.
If your car is front-wheeled, pull the throttle up.
Once the car is out of the drift, immediately turn the wheel to its initial "front" position, or a new drift will start.
Tips and tricks
Check the road. When driving on winter roads, hit the brake pedal and let it go several times. If you feel that the car stops, the road is good, if you don't, it means that the road is icy. Do this as often as possible (without creating dangerous situations, of course).
Divide by two. If in summer you can drive at 80 miles per hour, then in winter, you should drive at 40 miles per hour. If you usually turn at 60 mph, then in winter, you should slow down to 30 mph. This way, you will make sure that you will have enough time to react if your car starts drifting.
The surface road. On any road, try to drive the car so that all 4 wheels are on the same surface. If two wheels are on snow, and the other two are on ice, the car can be thrown off the road.
Pick a side. In order to avoid bounces between the walls of a deep track, push either the inside or the outside part of the wheels against the wall.
Higher gear. On an icy road, you should drive in a higher gear. Again, refer to the summer and increase the gear by one when you're driving in winter.
Use planners available for your smartphone to make sure you never forget to have your wheels changed. Set a reminder right now, so every October you will be reminded that it's time you thought about your safety.
What driving secrets do you know from your own experience? Share them in the comment section below, to make sure there are much more experienced drivers on the roads.