Avoid an Obstacle on a Slippery Surface Without ABS

Thursday, March 5, 2009

No anti-lock brakes installed? Forget pumping the brakes.....here's a better technique!
Apply a generous amount of brake pressure. Get the car slowed down before you swerve. Try not to lock the brakes but get it as close to the threshold as possible. This is also known as "squeezing" the brakes.
Release a little bit of pressure and swerve right or left. Turn the wheel about 1/4 of a turn. Any more will cause understeer and you'll side into the obstacle.
Look where you want the car to go (the solution) and not at the obstacle (the problem).
After you pass the obstacle, steer back into your lane while keeping your eyes up, looking for more potential problems.
Get on the brakes and stay on the brakes until your vehicle comes to a complete stop.

Always remember to brake first, then steer. If you steer first you'll be going too fast and you'll spin out of control.
Never look at the problem too long. It has been shown time and time again that our cars go where our eyes are looking. Why do you think people hit telephone poles that are spaced out by 60 meters?
Practice this technique in an empty parking lot after a snow fall. The more you understand how your car will react, the better you'll do in a real situation.
Shift your gear in to a lower transmission, this will let the motor run at high rpm's. And will slow the car down in a quite safe manner.

Pumping the brakes is not the best solution. Threshold braking (squeezing) is more efficient and will stop a vehicle in a shorter distance. Pumping shifts the weight of the car to the front, then to the back over and over again. This causes the suspension to compress and decompress very quickly, which causes instability, increasing your chance of sliding out of control.
Make sure you know if your car is ABS equipped or not! If you have ABS, you are actually better off slamming on the brakes and holding them down.


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