Passing your test is the beginning of a grand adventure on the road, but learning some advanced driving techniques will go a long way to keeping you and other road users safe. This week we’re going to share our top tips on how to control your car like a seasoned pro – and maybe save you some money too!
Driving techniques to control a skidding car
Learning how to regain control of your car when it starts to lose traction on the road could save your life one day, but it’s amazing how few people know how to do it. The methods are different with front and rear wheel drive cars, however:
- Front wheel drive – understeer (a front wheel skid) is usually the result of going too fast around a corner on a wet or slippery surface. That initial feeling of the steering becoming light can be unnerving, but it’s relatively easy to control when you understand that the front wheels have lost traction. Simply lifting your foot off the accelerator while you continue to steer in the direction you’re heading will usually be enough to regain control, but if not dab the brakes quickly and reasonably firmly to move some weight back to the front wheels.
- Rear wheel drive – oversteer (a rear wheel skid) is much more common in a rear wheel drive car and is caused by the same reasons as understeer – driving too fast around a corner on a poor quality surface. You control it by taking your feet off the pedals and ‘steering into the skid’ – that is, turning the wheel in the direction the rear end of the car is going, but be careful not to overdo it!
Driving on snow and ice
It can seem as if everyone around you forgets how to drive at the first sign of snow, so learning some advanced driving techniques to deal with snow and ice is essential.
Because there’s so little traction, pulling away in 1st gear will nearly always cause you to spin your wheels, so try pulling away in 2nd gear and applying your right foot as lightly as possible. Stay in as high a gear as you can while driving for the same reasons – except when going downhill where the engine braking that naturally occurs in a lower gear can help to control your speed without harsh pedal braking.
Advanced driving lessons
Many of these techniques are better mastered with the help of a skilled instructor, so signing up for an advanced driving course is often a good plan. You may even get a discount from your insurance provider if they know you’ve undertaken a course. If this appeals to you, watch out for our blog on advanced driving schools in Leeds – it’s coming next month!
We see a lot of good and bad driving on the roads, but we hope these top tips on advanced driving techniques help you to become one of the better drivers in Leeds.