Ice Driving: How to Drive on Ice Without Getting Killed

Driving on ice: How to drive on ice without getting killed (part 1).

During the three days of the previous week we jumped from one Mercedes-AMG car to another (E63, C63 and SLK63), racing on different routes requiring different experience. We were led by a surly ex-champion sports car driver, German Bernd Schneider, who occasionally burst into loud staccato commands for us. With studded tires digging into the ice, a roaring powerful Benz V8 engine (and, of course, endless collisions with massive snow banks), we were able to understand a few things related to the difficulty of driving on ice.

For starters: Many maneuvers go against the intuition of driving on the roads. Therefore, your first instinctive impulse is not always correct. And while you may never defeat the supervillains of the Arctic Circle, you will definitely agree that this kind of experience is essential when the winter clouds gather.

1. Driving position

First, when driving on ice, you need to place the driver's seat much closer to the steering wheel. Due to slip and slip, you have to turn the steering wheel so much to correct course and counterslip that the traditional driving position will strain your shoulders. Also, in collisions (which you most certainly can't avoid), you don't want your arms or legs to be straight and pressed against each other at that moment, since all the energy of the impact is transferred to the hips and shoulders, perhaps causing fractures in them.

2. Taxiing

You need to hold the steering wheel by placing your hands in the “a quarter to three” position (as if the hands imitate the hands of a clock). If you turn the steering wheel to correct for poor steering response when turning, and after a third of the turn the car does not start to turn, slow down. Do not keep turning the steering wheel. You have already developed the habit of continuing to turn the steering wheel to steer the car where you want it when you are on the pavement. This is quite natural, but restrain yourself, because such behavior on the ice is useless, and even dangerous. Continuing to turn the steering wheel will get you nowhere, but will take you to a terrible trajectory, at the moment when the front wheels finally gain traction. You will feel the grip of the tires on the road if you turn the steering wheel a little.

Might be interesting:  How to learn English

3. Braking

At each stop, you need to apply maximum pressure on the brake - it is important to literally attack the pedal at the beginning of braking. It will also shift the weight to the front wheels, giving you more grip when turning corners. And don't worry - the modern marvel of anti-jamming brakes stabilizes the car.

4. Eyes

Focus on where you want to go, not on snowy walls, trees, obstacles, etc. If you stare at this snow bank that has appeared on your way, then you are guaranteed to be in the snow up to the bumper. As in the case of the use of the Force - where you focus, you will get there. Believe in yourself, young padawan!

5. Gas pedal

On ice, there is no control over the adhesion of the wheels to the surface. So all you can count on is your right foot. Use the gas pedal gently. The maximum that you can achieve with a sharp pedal pressure is rear wheel slippage. Wheel slipping unnecessarily will cost you more than just losing speed. With 550 wild horses kicking furiously under the bonnet of an AMG, you're bound to lose control.

6. Counter steering

If you feel like the rear of the car has lost traction, turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction until you regain traction. Do this gently, as too much steering will cause you to crash into a snow wall.

7. Controlled skid

It's simple enough, skidding is the final dynamic of ice driving. If done correctly, you will experience the greatest excitement that you can share with your car. Rally and ice racing cars are the only cars that do the skid completely voluntarily.

It is performed by gently increasing the gas as soon as the rear wheels lose traction and the car begins to spin. If you ease up on the accelerator and start countersteering, you will regain control of the car, but if you press harder on the gas while countersteering, you can initiate this controlled, albeit chaotic, dance.

The more gas, the more side skid you can get. Tires squeal, you giggle like a schoolgirl being tickled, and the car slides perpendicular to the corner. Of course, you need to be careful - give too much gas, and start spinning in the opposite direction, colliding with everything that catches your eye. Only time, and a very large number of mistakes made during such rotations, will be able to teach you the necessary accuracy.

Might be interesting:  Best monitor 2019: top 10 monitors and displays we reviewed

If you have a long trip ahead of you (which is quite common during the winter holiday season), bring items such as a blanket, a lantern, candles and a lighter, flares, and extra bottles of windshield washer fluid in case of unplanned circumstances or stops at roadside.

Sure, all that winter gear can be a problem when stowed in the trunk, but your forethought can make life easier for you later on.

Switch to winter tires

Because all-season tires are a practical and economical choice for many drivers, they use technological innovations to satisfy consumer interest in winter tires. But even so, some drivers find that all-season tires, in terms of their winter performance, can hardly compare to winter tires. Therefore, some manufacturers produce special tires for use in winter - and note that in some places it is legally required to use studded tires and wheel chains in winter.

If you decide in favor of winter tires, store your summer tires in opaque plastic bags. To prevent moisture from ruining the rubber, evacuate as much air as possible from these bags before sealing them with tape. To store the wheels, find a place that maintains a cool but stable temperature. Such a place can be a basement or an insulated garage.

Whatever tires you choose, be sure to regularly inspect the running surface of the tires, and check your tire pressure monthly. Remember that a temperature drop of 5-6 degrees is equivalent to a decrease in tire pressure by 1,15 atmospheres, which means a weakening of traction and a decrease in vehicle controllability.

Don't let the winter freeze you

Winterizing your car is essential for the coldest months. Don't let your car become another winter chore for you (like cleaning your driveways or salting your stairs). Instead, make it a shelter from the cold, and a vehicle that you and your family can rely on in any weather that Santa Claus wants to offer you.

Please rate the article
Translate »