We've been very fortunate so far this winter with regards to our weather. Normally by this time of the year in Minnesota, we've already had a few snowfalls, several icy rush hours and many spin outs.
"December 1 marks the beginning of what is, historically, the coldest 90 days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. An average of 11.9 inches of snow falls in December at KMSP, second only to January," says Minneapolis - St Paul meteorologist Paul Douglas. And he predicts, "by the second weekend of December it will look like winter out there."
If that's the case, it's important that you think ahead about what you'll do if you end up in a skid or spin out. Talk with your teen driver about how to regain control of the car if they hit an icy patch while driving. If you aren't sure yourself, here's the advice given by Tanner Foust, world record holder, stunt driver and star of Top Gear USA.
"The three times when you're driving at the limit of a vehicle's capability, according to Foust, are in racing, in an emergency avoidance maneuver, and when you are driving on a low-grip surface like snow and ice. So learning how to control a vehicle when it steps past the limits of adhesion is key. Of course in newer cars, the stability control system will attempt to correct a skid. But in the slickest conditions it can't do all the work. When the front tires break traction and begin to slide first, it's called understeer. Faust says this the most common type of skid, caused by entering a corner too quickly and at the same time, turning the tires too sharply. "First you need to put load back onto the front tires," says Foust. So he suggests slowly releasing pressure on the throttle, straightening the steering wheel and waiting (very briefly) for the tires regain traction. Then be sure to look where you want to end up and point the front tires in that direction. "When you're sliding toward the guardrail or ditch, it feels like it could take forever to regain traction," he cautions. "It takes a long time to master that correction because it's very counterintuitive." " (source: Popular Mechanics)
The worst thing about this though is it isn't like you can take your teen out and practice this like you do when they have their driving permit and you take them into an empty parking lot and practice parking between the lines. But what you can do is watch this video with them and discuss how important it is to remain calm and follow the directions of Foust and driver safety expert Dr. William Van Tassel. (click on photo below to watch video "How to pull out of a skid" on YouTube.)
If you, or your teen driver, do end up. in a snow bank and need a tow truck to winch you out, give us a call at 651.955.6475