Ask Andy: Driving on ice - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ask Andy: Driving on ice

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By Andy Wise - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS (WMC-TV) - The worst scare while driving on ice:  the rear-wheel skid.

Stunt driver and defensive driving instructor Max Maxwell of the Max Maxwell Motor Sports & Driving School ( demonstrated what's necessary to recover from the skid:  a counter-steer with no braking.

"You always want to turn into the direction of the skid," he said. "The rear end's going to stop. It's going to start to come back. 

"You make your correction, then just before the rear end gets back, you have to straighten out the wheels."

Sometime, you will have no choice but to brake on ice.

If you drive a vehicle with an anti-lock braking system (ABS) or vehicle dynamic control (VDC), you should feel it activate. An icon on your dash will appear to indicate the system's functioning.

Maxwell said if the system kicks in, maintain steady pressure on the brakes. Don't let up, but don't slam on them either.

For vehicles without ABS or VDC, Maxwell said you must perform what he calls "rolling friction."

"Pump the brake pedal. You want to pump it as hard and as fast as you can," Maxwell said. "Bring the wheel to a 'lock up, let it go, lock up'...rolling friction."

Maxwell said the most common mistakes drivers make on slick conditions:  driving too fast and driving too close.

"Not allowing for enough distance between cars, or it's dry, so they pick their speed up," he said. "All of a sudden, they come into a spot that's icy or patchy, and then they've got problems."

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