DRIVING HINTS

The Laws of Man vs. The Laws of Physics

In the 1600s, Sir Isaac Newton discovered the Laws of Motion. Knowledge of these Laws is critical to knowing how to control a car.

If you go to war with the Laws of Man, you probably will win. But if you go to war with the Laws of Nature, you will definitely lose.

For example, if you come to a rolling stop at a stop sign, you will probably survive. However, if you don’t know how to control a spin, you probably won’t survive.

Front End Skids

What do you do in a skid?

Most drivers will say steer into it, but what if you can’t steer? Drivers don’t realize that a car has two ends – a front end and a rear end. If you can steer, the rear end has lost traction and momentum can carry the rear around into a rear-end skid.

A truck is a big and heavy thing and needs a lot of space. When in front of it you spring you're surely tempting fate!

Most rear end skids are caused by a front end skid, a skid we have not been taught to recognize. When you try to turn a car into a turn and the car refuses to turn, you have lost traction in the front of the car.

Most drivers will turn the steering wheel more and more but since there is no traction on the front tires, the car will not turn. You need contact (traction) in the front of the car to turn the car.

Since you are turning the steering wheel more and more and the car is headed for a tree, the next idiocy is to brake, transferring all the weight to the front of the car.

As a result, the rear loses contact with the road and will come around. You have now turned a front end skid into a rear end skid, a more dire situation.

So what does a driver do when the car won’t turn?

1. Look where you want the car to go, not where it is going,
2. Ease off the gas.
3. Straighten the steering wheel to make those front tires work less, gaining traction to steer the car where you want to go.

Causes of a front end skid

There are basically two reasons why a vehicle will go into a front end skid.

1. Too fast through a turn and too much weight is transferred to the rear of the car, losing traction in the front. (Sir Isaac Newton’s first Law of Motion: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction)

2. In a front wheel drive car too much gas can cause the front wheels to spin, losing traction. A spinning tire has no traction, therefore no contact with the road, therefore no steering.

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