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Snow, ice and poor visibility are a challenge for the driver

Winter driving tips from Armin Schwarz
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Black ice can lurk around every bend

O b at the Monte Carlo Rally or in winter road traffic in Germany: the cold season has many surprises in store for drivers. If you still have dry asphalt in the sunshine on your way to work, ice, frost or snowdrifts can suddenly cause critical road conditions after just a few kilometers in the shade. You have to be prepared for that.


Only those who sit correctly can act correctly

Preparation begins even before the start: It is important to find the right seating position. The legs should still be slightly angled when the brake pedal is fully pressed, and the steering wheel is gripped in the 'quarter to three' position. Only then can you react quickly and control the car in difficult situations.

When understeering: When in doubt, accelerate away

In principle, increased attention and sensitive handling of the accelerator are the order of the day. Most everyday vehicles are designed to be 'slightly understeering', which means that they push over the front wheels when the speed is too high. This is easier to master even for inexperienced users, because the driver can bring the vehicle back under control by releasing the accelerator and turning less. The prerequisite for this are good winter tires that can build up high lateral guidance in the snow.


Oversteering: countersteering needs to be practiced

A little more skills require oversteering vehicles, such as rear-wheel drive cars. These can break out with the rear end when accelerating in bends because the relieved wheel on the inside of the bend begins to spin and thus loses its lateral guidance. Then the driver has to counter-steer with feeling, i.e. steer in the direction in which the rear swings. If the rear is stable, the driver has to turn straight again, otherwise the vehicle will break out to the other side due to the load change and the counter-steering - and with greater force. Inexperienced drivers can quickly land in the ditch here.

It's fun and brings something: driver training

What rally professionals do on secured routes is of course taboo on public roads. But whohas learned the controlled interception of the vehicle and the correct driving technique once during a driver training course (for example www.iceaction.de) on snow and ice, is well prepared for the cold season.

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