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Old 12-26-2012, 09:43 PM   #19
Back Road Runner
Scooby Guru
Member#: 60082
Join Date: Apr 2004
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minnesota
2004 Forester STI


ABS isn't the smartest on deformable surfaces, so take some care in stopping early. The ABS system also wants to roll the car, always. This can be problematic if you get too sideways because it will actually roll you straight into the ditch.

I think people have different perceptions of the rear end kicking out. For some, anything, anything at all is the rear end kicking out. For others, the car has to be quite sideways to really care at all about what the rear end is doing. If you're not used to a car floating around and sliding around, get some practice. Because it is a loose surface, your car will seldom be straight if you are pushing the car at all. The behavior becomes a bit more dynamic as the car reaches its operating limit. Some movement is expected. The higher the slide angle, the more you need to know about car control or you can get into big trouble.

I grew up in snow. I don't really have much to say in terms of driving on the stuff. Deep snow can pull the car around, especially if rutted. The most dangerous thing you can get is drifting snow because depth and hardness is not consistent and the smoothness of the shape hides its size well. Hitting deep snow with only one side of the car can pull you into the ditch, spin you 180 degrees, and/or make you do a 360.

The only other danger of winter driving is ice. Winter will often generate a mix of surfaces from deep snow to packed snow, to ice, and then bare road all in the same area. Grip can vary a lot from second to second. A little worse is hidden ice under a fresh snow fall. You can have glare ice under some new fluffy snow, and you won't realize it until it's too late. If it's a road you take on a regular basis, read the road surface as you drive and make notes where the ice is building up. That way when the fresh snow does come, you know where the icy spots are.

Semis like passing people in blizzards. They seem to go slow during the summer but in winter they love flying by cars on the left lane. Every time one passes, you are blind for a period of time. Know where the road goes and mentally drive it till the micro blizzard passes. Semi drivers tend to be exceptionally careful because any accident means a lost job, but you will still find many drivers taking unnecessary risks. Expect to be both blinded and run off the road some at times. That's just the way it is.
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