Winter Tips Part 1

Monday, 7. November 2011

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

Most of us are aware that ABS is fitted to our cars and you are probably sufficiently technically astute to know that ABS is a system fitted to your brakes that enables you to brake and steer at the same time, especially important on wet or slippery roads. If you’ve ever used it, it sounds like a machine gun as the brake pads grip the brake disc then let go and brake again allowing a fresh piece of tyre rubber to contact the road. This action takes place so quickly it allows you to steer at the same time, however, if you’ve never used it before it can be quite alarming so safety experts have advised drivers to test it out on their car if never used before.

Choose somewhere safe and brake hard, preferably with no vehicle behind you and experience the ABS effect. Often the shock of the sound causes drivers to take their foot off the brake and instead of avoiding an obstacle they end up driving into it or skidding off the road.

Whilst on the subject of winter safety there are other things you need to beware of and prepare for. First of all, it may sound obvious but there is less grip on wet, icy and snow packed roads than on dry.

Whilst that may seem obvious to most, there are still those that see their outside temperature gauge drop below zero and continue driving exactly the same as they did before there was a likelihood of ice.

So in poor conditions, slow down and leave a bigger gap between you and the vehicle in front. Did you know that in ice and snow wide wheels have less grip than slimmer wheels? Strangely neither did I but this has been confirmed by Chief Instructor at Prodrive, Jamie Wall.

In advice provided to Auto Express Jamie also explained that in poor conditions a driver’s focus moves closer to the car instead of keeping a focus further in front where incidents may be occurring.

As he explained, the psychology is a little like you walking on ice and looking down at your feet rather than looking ahead. The result of focusing on the car in front is to give you less time to react.

Motorways are particularly dangerous because of a lack of reference points that warn the brain about your speed so slow down more than you think you should.

Going back to braking you should move all items that could fall off the passenger’s seat into the boot. So often drivers ease off the brake at a critical time to avoid items like the weekly shopping or laptop flying off the passenger’s seat.

They also ease off the brake thinking they are going to avoid a crash when in fact it disengages the safety systems and can cause wheels to lock up. A locked wheel will simply skid straight on. The best way is to put your food down hard and let the safety systems stop you. By Graham Hill

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