If you have to brake in snow or black ice, you can easily skid. Therefore, you should pay attention to a few tips when driving in winter.
Braking can be a dangerous maneuver, especially in winter, when the roads are slippery due to snowfall or ice. For some drivers, however, there is no way to switch to other means of transport. Because many people are dependent on their car regardless of the weather, for example, to get to work and back home every day as a commuter. Here you will find useful tips to get to your destination safely despite the adverse conditions.
Braking on black ice
If you are driving your car on slippery roads and slip while braking, you should above all stay calm. First, you should take your foot off the accelerator, fully depress the clutch, and then brake – this is how you can effectively stop your vehicle if you slip in snow or black ice. Try to countersteer carefully to keep the car on the track and avoid the wheels breaking. However, you have to take into account that the tires can be moved very easily on black ice – you can accordingly easily lose the feeling for the current position of the tires. Because if these are transverse, safety systems such as ABS or ESP quickly lose their effectiveness. Therefore, you should focus your concentration on the braking maneuver and only counter-steer in addition.
Driving style on slippery roads
If the road surface is slippery due to black ice or snow, it is advisable to start off again in second gear after braking. However, you should only press the gas pedal of the car carefully to avoid the vehicle breaking away. If you drive a car with an automatic transmission, select the “winter program”. In general, you should drive with high gear and low speed at the same time in winter.
Always try to steer carefully on snow and black ice – jerky steering movements are to be avoided in any case. If you are forced to brake in an emergency, it depends on whether your car already has an anti-lock braking system (ABS) or not. If you have to brake, the brakes must be applied hard. If your car has ABS, you will hear a rattling noise. This is completely normal and just means that the ABS will intervene and help you brake.
If your car doesn’t have ABS, you have to make sure that the tires don’t lock up yourself. If you press the brake pedal hard, release it and press it again. This is called the stutter brake and ensures that your car remains controllable when braking sharply on snow.
Try braking on snow
Braking on a slippery road is an important technique that is usually only taught theoretically in driving schools. It is therefore advisable that you practice braking on snow from time to time. Familiarize yourself with the behavior of your car on slippery surfaces (e.g. in a snowy and empty parking lot). You will be surprised by how long it takes for your car to stop. Therefore, drive in winter in such a way that you have enough safety reserves for these conditions.
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