12.28.16 - Frozen Road

In a world where the computers and systems in our vehicles are taking over it seems the average driver is being left behind. That’s probably a good thing because the average driver spends a lot of time distracted behind the wheel searching for music, texting, eating and drinking. For most of us the task of driving is simply a way to get from one place to another and we rely on the systems of the car to help take care of us on the road but there are times when it’s important to know how to drive better than the average human.

Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are meant to allow us to steer through the trouble while the brake is being slammed to the floor. The need for this system is obvious, most of the time our reaction in an emergency or slippery situation is to slam the brakes to the floor and steer away from the trouble or away from the skid. Both of these reactions are exactly the opposite of what we should be doing in a slide whether it is on a wet road, snow or ice.

The reality of the situation is that if you know how to brake in a slide properly you can outperform the ABS of your vehicle. It’s easy enough to do, but you will need to actually be prepared for the potential hazards that await you and know the importance of being able to brake and steer the way you should. Thankfully, Tim O’Neil of Team O’Neil Rally School has chosen to make this an important part of the training he offers. The video below show you how Tim demonstrates what you can learn and how you can effectively brake better than the ABS in your car.

Does this mean you shouldn’t have safety systems in your car such as ABS, traction control or stability control? Not at all, the reality is these systems will help keep you safe in the vehicle, but you should have an idea of the capabilities of each one by taking your car to a parking lot and testing it out on some short runs where you force these systems to engage and save you in the process. This can help you understand how they work and what will happen when the systems engage during your driving.

An engaged ABS or driving system will make it more difficult for you to take back control of your vehicle if you start to slide through a snowy intersection or to slip on a wet road. This is what makes having the skill to drive and slide without actually engaging these system important to you, but if your skills happen to falter at any time, you’ll still have the benefit of these driving aids to help make sure you stay safe. Check out this video and see if you can learn how to drive your car through trouble without engaging the ABS or any other driving system.