Driving Safety Tips - Advanced Braking
Braking as efficiently as possible could make a massive difference as to whether you are involved in a car crash or not!
Advanced Driving Safety Tips
Anti Collision Braking: when braking heavily due to an emergency stop in a vehicle not equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS), slamming, or locking the brakes on dry paved roads, will stop the vehicle very quickly, but you will be unable to steer.
A good Driving Safety Tip and technique to learn is; when you feel the wheels start to lock-up ease the brake pedal off "slightly" to prevent skidding, then re-apply pressure, in some cases you may need to repeat this process several times in rapid succession.
When the tires skid your braking efficiency is very good on dry paved roads and may be the best option if circumstances will not allow you to steer around the obstacle.
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If there is enough room to steer safely around the obstacle, then the above technique will allow you to do so, alternatively you can lock the brakes initially to quickly reduce your speed and at the same time, turn the steering wheel slightly (1/4 turn). When you release the brakes prior to the collision, you will regain your steering smoothly and just veer around to avoid the collision.
This method takes a quite bit of practice, but once mastered, is a great skill to have; I have avoided a number of collisions with this technique over the past 25 years, as you are still able turn the vehicle to avoid a collision if necessary, and is one of my favorite Driving Safety Tips.
However, on loose surfaces it is generally better to lock the wheels as the loose material builds up in front of the tires and creates a wedge effect.
As mentioned previously, locking the brakes will quickly reduce speed, that’s ok in a straight line, but what happens if you encounter an obstacle while cornering, and have to brake suddenly.
If you happen to lock the brakes while cornering, the sideways inertia will cause your vehicle to cross over the center line or veer off the side of the road entirely. Using the above method of "Apply and Release", will allow you to brake very quickly and at the same time, be able to safely negotiate the corner.
Try and practice this technique on varying road surfaces, for example; quiet, dry and wet paved roads, dirt roads and other loose surfaces like farm paddocks if you can; Paddocks are probably the best to learn on because your chances of hitting something are a lot less. Try different speeds and see how quickly you can stop without skidding the wheels, this will give you a feel of how much pressure it takes to lock the wheels.
It generally takes a lot Less pressure to lock-up the wheels on loose or wet surfaces than hard dry surfaces, but it can take you by surprise, so be vigilant.
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