Winter braking – here’s what you need to know

Winter braking – here’s what you need to know
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

Winter driving is not easy and requires exceptional focus. Winter braking requires expert driving technique. It’s important to know how to drive safely no matter what the conditions are. Find out how to brake safely in winter, both with and without ABS.

Should summer and winter braking be any different?

Driving in the summer is slightly different from driving in the winter. This is primarily due to the weather conditions. In summer, when the road conditions are good, the tires have good grip, and this ensures greater safety when driving. This is possible because the tire is in direct contact with the asphalt or concrete.

Unfortunately, road conditions in the winter season are very difficult and unfriendly to drivers. The grip of the tires to the road surface is reduced because the road is covered with snow and sometimes even ice, making the roads slippery. Find out how to brake safely even in these conditions.

Winter braking with ABS – what should you know?

Before you learn how to brake with ABS in winter, it’s worth explaining what it is. ABS is an assistance system designed to prevent the wheels from locking up when braking. It will reduce the braking distance, which will reduce the risk of a collision with another car. Another advantage of this system is that it allows you to maintain control of your car, even when the brake pedal is fully depressed.

How to brake in winter with ABS? The most important thing is not to hesitate and to brake decisively. In addition, you need to apply some force so that the braking system can work at full power. In winter, a car with ABS may feel like kicking the brake pedal when braking. This doesn’t mean you should let go of the brake pedal – on the contrary, you should apply more pressure.

Winter braking without assistance – what’s important?

The situation is slightly different for cars without brake assist systems. In such vehicles, it is best to use the pulse braking method in winter. When you feel the wheels lock, you can release the brake. When the tires regain traction, apply the brake pedal even harder. This is one way to brake and bring the car out of the skid. In addition, it allows you to reduce the speed of the car, even if you do not have ABS at your disposal.

How do you behave when your car goes into a skid?

Before you learn how to behave during a skid, it is worth noting that there are two types of skidding. One is an understeer skid, which is most common in front-drive cars. Rear-drive cars are more likely to experience oversteer skidding. Understeer skidding usually occurs when turning – when you want to turn right, the car will want to go left.

If the car goes into a skid, you cannot brake violently. It is also not recommended to take your foot off the accelerator, just slightly let go of the pedal. If the car starts turning in the opposite direction than you want, straighten the steering wheel and then turn it in the direction of travel.

However, if you are dealing with an oversteer skid, you should quickly turn the steering wheel in the direction the car is drifting. This way, you will be able to steer the car out of the skid.

It is worth preparing your car well for the winter season. First of all, it is necessary to replace summer tires with winter ones, which have better grip on snowy and wet surfaces. It is also worth doing an inspection to make sure that all systems in the car work without any problems. It is very important to top up the brake fluid level and check the efficiency of the braking system.


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