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Discussion in 'Automotive' started by Hal Pollner, Oct 4, 2018.
Thanks for backing me up, Frank!
I grew up in the snow belt, and was never told the skidding technique. It just felt like the thing to do. When I heard the lecture much later, I thought, "Oh yeah, so that's how you describe in words what you do." There must be some activity as a child that causes you to learn that.
I suspect someone who doesn't already have a feel for it, would never be able to remember it in an emergency situation. Not the first time or two, anyway.
Ha! You know by now, I contribute pointedly and positively, when I think I'm in the "right". Sometimes, I'm in the wrong, though!
Having grown up outside of Chicago, skidding cars were commonplace for me to see. On a two-wheeler bicycle, the action is a bit different. I trended towards steering away from the skid, not into it, having found that offered at least a prayer of avoiding a spill (took many, many!). Learning to drive with 4 wheels beneath me posed a different challenge.......my infamous "spin-out" on the curved bridge in Columbia City, Indiana, driving my nice Mustang, taught me one thing certain about skidding: BELIEVE the sign stating, "WATCH FOR ICE ON BRIDGE"!
You can't get through a winter here in Maine without skidding at one point or another. Even with studded snow tires, all it takes is some slush to freeze around the studs and they suddenly aren't doing very much anymore.
Driving instructors and parents don't recommend it, but I think you can learn a lot about driving while playing with your car as a teenager. I can remember going into a skid while navigating a sharp curve on a country road. It was kind of fun so I turned around and tried it again, each time a little faster. Yeah, I did spend some time in ditches.
Even as an adult, my son and I were coming back from somewhere in Northern California, where there was snow. It was early in the morning and we were the only car on the road, that had at least two lanes each way, so I was playing around sliding from one side to another. All of a sudden, I was unable to bring it back under control and I plowed my Datsun into a snowbank.
I was trying to dig it out with a cane, which was all that I had to dig with when the CHP came along. Of course, he could see my tracks in the snow, since no other cars had been by.
"I lost control of the car."
"About seven miles back?"
'Yeah, something like that. I was playing"
"Well, good luck."
Interesting that Maine lawmakers have not followed suit with many others snow-bound in winter, where studded tires are outlawed. Colorado being one, if I remember correctly.
They're still legal here.
Pretty sure that studded snow tires are still legal in both Washington and Idaho, too; but there are specific dates when they can be used, and when they have to be removed.
When I lived in north Idaho, I had my Mazda pickup, and I always used 4 studded snow tires in the winter, and then carried at least 100 lbs of weight over the rear axle for added traction.
I was a careful driver, and actually probably one of the few people who lived up there and didn’t also have a 4x4 to drive in the winter.
My driveway was pretty long, and when it snowed at night, I would drive up and down about every half hour to try and keep the snow from getting too deep for me to be able to drive out through it in the morning when I had to go to work.
Whe it was obvious that we were going to have heavy snow all night, I parked at the end of the driveway near the main road, and just hoped that the snowplow would have come past before I had to drive down the road.
I am really glad that I live where I do not have to shovel snow anymore, or drive through it all winter.
The crazy folks where I grew up delighted in driving out onto frozen lakes, then going quite fast, and swirling about like huge dervishes! I often wondered if any broke through the ice. Sounded pretty risky, to me, and I'm usually first in line to try a crazy new stunt!
One year while I was in high school, Lake Michigan froze over completely. Usually, Lake Michigan is kept open for shipping traffic to and from Chicago and other ports, but that year a car could drive from the Upper to the Lower Peninsula on the lake, saving a few hundred miles of driving. There was a regular freeway going across the lake. In parts of the lake where there wasn't traffic, I could drive as fast I wanted and cut the wheels, spinning around and around. It was a lot of fun.
We used snow tires in Ohio in the winter, but they weren't studded. In really heavy snow situations they would put on chains. When the snowplows came down our road they would leave a high ridge so you couldn't get out of the driveway without digging that out first. We had to climb over that ridge to get to the school bus stop in the morning.
Would that be the same thing as what was called “spinning brodies” back where I came from ? It was usually done in an icy parking lot somewhere late at night, but I can see how a lake could also work if it were frozen over sufficiently.
Yep, that is what we did in high school--the school parking lot iced over well in winter and we would practice skidding on Saturday nights in winter. Here studs are legal from September 15 until May 15 in most of the state. My truck just has heavy duty M+S tires, but I change out my wife's car tires twice annually.
A tip for lady drivers. 'Indulge macho men by allowing them to believe they are better than you.' They/we are sad.