The saying goes April showers bring May flowers, couldn’t be truer in Ontario. This spring has brought an abundance of rain to the GTA which is great for flowers, your front yard and even cleaning off the last remnants of winter from your vehicle. However, driving in rain can be particularly difficult especially at high speeds. We’ve compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts to keep you and your loved ones safe when your vehicle is sliding.
Don’t panic! Nothing good has ever come from panicking. There are only seconds available to course correct your vehicle to prevent the situation from worsening. By staying calm and remembering what to do, you will be able to regain control of your vehicle. Remember deep breaths, stay calm and focus.
Do not slam the brakes
When a driver hammers on the blinders per se, your vehicle’s tires stop moving which inhibits the driver’s ability to steer to safety. This type of reaction can throw your car from sliding into a full spin in just a few seconds. Instead, slowly apply brake pressure until the vehicle slows down and you are able to regain full control. Tapping the breaks intermittently can also help slow down the vehicle without sending it into a full spin.
Decelerate your vehicle
In conjunction with breaking, drivers are recommended to put the vehicle into neutral. This will disconnect the engine from the drive train – essentially cutting the power to the vehicle’s tires. Allowing the vehicle to slow down, while you regain control.
Steer into the slide
“Steering into the slide” is the opposite of most drivers immediate reaction. It can seem counter-intuitive however, it allows the vehicle to straighten itself out. In order to straighten out your vehicle, you will need to turn your front wheels in the same direction that the rear of the vehicle is sliding. This simple, yet not so simple maneuver will straighten out the vehicle putting a stop to the slide. In order for this to work, one must remain calm and be focused. Focus on where you want your vehicle to go, this will directly impact how much you need to turn the wheel to correct the slide. A small slide requires only slight steering to rectify itself. When your vehicle snaps back after responding to you turning the wheel be prepared as it can swing back in the other direction. This will happen several times as you regain control of the vehicle. Be prepared and respond accordingly, don’t oversteer.
Do not over correct or oversteer
Oversteering a slide gives the car momentum keeping it rotating into a full spin. At this point, the vehicle is rotating faster than the driver can steer to regain control. The vehicle will completely spin out.
Knowing how to safely exit from a slide at high speeds or in bad weather conditions is great knowledge to have. Remember driving with caution, driving according to your surroundings and weather conditions will help prevent sliding in most cases. Let’s not forget having the correct tires on during each season will also help mitigate sliding during certain weather conditions, specifically winter weather. To make sure your vehicle is ready for any and all weather conditions our service department would be happy to help.