Dec

13

 After Sunday services it began to snow. We spent an hour at the store, and when we came out there was a thick layer of ice on the windshield. In an hour conditions changed from 65mph to 20-40. The whole family was in the mini van so I had to take it easy. Also to complicate matters, it's much easier to drift and drive with rear wheel drive and a longer wheel base vehicle. I was stuck in the mini van with a Floridian wife that fears "black ice".

Of course the kids that it was a total blast. My teenager thought it was boring vs. driving a sports car, and even the big full size van is a blast to drive in the snow. I taught him last winter and we had a blast.

The most dangerous conditions are ice and wet leaves. It's when we go from wet to seemingly dry looking pavement then ahead where there is snow. Snow is easy to drive in vs ice. It's the transitions, the shift change from dry to wet to non salted ice to snow covered.

I was attempting to show the wife that on ice it's near impossible to move at all on a grade. As we all know overpasses are the worst. Yet it's safe to proceed at 20-25mph keep the motion in motion, since you can stop in a reasonable amount of time and the turn at 8-9 mph was a safe crawl, but what ever you do do not pump or slam on the brakes even with ABS. Look where you want to go, and like magic you usually end up where you're looking in a panic.

On wet pavement when it turns to black ice and you are blind to the transition, simply keep the motion in motion. Don't brake, do not over correct, do not panic. Once the vehicle is straight, you can then very lightly brake or coast reduce from 40 to 20 and gain ability steer, enough to lane change and coast, then brake enough to turn from 25 mph max ice speeds to the 9mph corner speed. Yet snow has very good traction. You can rock it 25-40, and use controlled throttle to turn stop smoothly so that the ABS doesn't even kick in.

At every transition in our 10 mile trek there were crashes just over the next peak or the next corner. I demonstrated how and why it all works after and during all the transitions. The wife was always in a panic state, especially when I was at 35-40 mph in the snow. My point was if the traction is good, the kids will drive 50, the people that know how to drive in snow will go 40, so you are in more danger crawling at 20 mph with people braking and turning to pass. Just look ahead for the transitions. Way ahead. I said, look, what if we lose control and spin, I can land a 747 on this HWY. There is no one behind us. There is zero risk. A big fast curve on dry conditions you could take at 200 mph+… I didn't even slow and she held on for dear life. In the big white I can take that at 65mph and drift it..in a rally car all wheel drive I could take that at full throttle at 120.

One block from the house they missed a spot with the salt truck. It was down hill so I idled the van at 3-4 mph…"what are you doing now?" You can't see this? It's pure ice. My street..brick mail boxes line the road…kids at play in the yards…pure ice and there will be no more driving today as I can't get back up the hill out of the hood with the rear wheel drive fun vehicles.

It's the mouse with one hole trade.. There's no escape route even at 5mph, even though the snow covered roads 1 mile from the house are a pure joy to practice sliding, drifting, regaining control. It's great for the teenager and my wife to learn on. Snow covered parking lots are perfect! "Now you decide it's too dangerous to drive more today!" It's not too dangerous to drive today…it's to dangerous to drive in our neighborhood. "We need an all wheel drive vehicle" Yes dear. "All wheel drive with computer controlled traction. You can drive through anything." 

this video is exactly how we learned to drive as kids..in a huge open lot and let it rip.
 


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