“Driving in difficult weather conditions” and “Vehicle safety”

Difficult weather conditions

The main difficult weather conditions on the road are: ice, snowstorm, fog, duststorm, heavy snowfall, heavy rainfall, hail and strong storm winds.

In the event of these weather conditions, the driver must take all safety measures, reduce speed, increase the distance and, if necessary, stop the vehicle and evacuate the passengers. The driver must make every effort to inform the road transport organization of the dangerous weather conditions along the route.

Fear of slipping in the winter is as silly as refusing to swim in the summer: the snow will come eventually and its quite fun to play in the sea. If the right driving techiques are in place, driving a car in winter is pure fun. Here we have gathered some useful advice on how to overcome fear of slipping from trained and practically experienced instructors.

“The snow came down and the ground turned white. Some drivers can’t get to work on Monday. They’re behind the wheel and they’re scared, because slippery driving is one of the craziest fails.” – you remember that song, right? Every time an unexpected snow falls, there is a moment that you feel you  need to sing it. And then I would look at the train times and at all, call and say I’m sick today. There is no need to be afraid of the slippery and snow, honestly. My experience is that you can even enjoy winter. Even behind the wheel.

Because if you can drive, it’s fun. Watch this video for example – at Porsche Winter Driving School, one of the many places to learn to glide – no one is terrified.

The last time I took the slippery Porsche Driving Experience course in Levil, Finland, instructor Marian Pašić patted me comfortably on the shoulder and said, “You would become a good taxi driver. No matter how slippery and difficult the road is, you get home. ” Not that it would have comforted me too much at that moment – I went to courses to learn to have fun in the winter. However, when I got back to my domestic winter, it was a different feeling to drive – I know I will get home. Because I can. And sometimes, when no one sees, it’s, honestly fun too. Here are my seven tips to help me deal with the slippery fear. You can also find good recommendations on liiklus.ee website.

Remind yourself every year how to drive in winter! I assume that you have set up your car for the winter in time, it will not stop separately. Slippery driving courses can be done in Estonia all year round.

However, if winter comes to the yard before you can train, look for the nearest place where there is ice and snow and go and try out how your car behaves on slippery surface. If possible, register a day of slippery road training and practice with a instructor. Find information on winter slippery tracks and take time to practice. Because practice really makes tyou perfect!

The car started slipping, help! No, the car will slip when its slippery and its normal. No need to panic, no need to let go of your steering wheel. You have to play a clutch-brake game, depending on whether you have a car with a manual or automatic transmission.

!In winter, the car’s braking distance is four times longer than when driving at the same speed in summer. You reduce the speed by one unit, the distance to the stop is shortened by two units. You increase the speed by one unit, the stopping distance is extended by two units. Tough arithmetic, right? Atleast you know that the braking distance and the stopping distance are two different things.

The car travels at a speed of 60 km / h
Grip coefficient 0.7 (dry asphalt) – braking distance with the wheel blocked 20 m
Grip coefficient 0.1 (bald ice) – braking distance with a blocked wheel approx. 140 m

When braking on a slippery road, always press the clutch pedal before braking. First, you press the clutch to disengage the engine wheels, which causes all the wheels to rotate at a constant speed. Secondly, in the event of sudden braking, the engine does not die out and the car can be driven past an obstacle after braking.

! During emergency braking, keep the brake pedal fully pressed in a car with ABS while gripping the clutch. The brake pedal is bottomed! If the car turns in front of the driver’s side during braking and starts to drag, hold the clutch down and release the brake quietly while straightening the car with the steering wheel.

A car with an automatic transmission does not have a clutch, so both the brake and accelerator pedals must be used to prevent slipping.

Shift down and brake with the engine! Older automatic transmissions do not brake with the engine released when the accelerator pedal is released in the D (drive) position, and the car goes into neutal immediately after releasing the accelerator pedal.

By using the selector lever position 1 or 2 (slow travel), you can also successfully brake with the gearbox. Newer machines have the option of manual gearshifting (in case of automated manual transmission).

When the car starts slipping sideways, the solution is easy: if the car starts to slightly slide, it is usually fixed by lifting your foot off the accelerator pedal.

If that doesn’t work, quickly press the clutch pedal and immediately turn the steering wheel towards the sliding direction (quickly, not much!). The clutch disengages the engine from the wheels and they start to rotate at the same speed and are subjected to the same forces. When the side skid stops, straighten the car.

! At the end of the slip, the steering wheel must be turned straight just before the car goes straight. Otherwise, the side slip will start  in the other direction. According to this rule, the same applies to front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive cars.

Note that the clutch cannot be pressed in a car with an automatic transmission. Release the accelerator pedal and turn the steering wheel slightly towards sliding direction.

! When restoring control, do not press the brake pedal. However, if it is clear that the car is no longer subject to the driver’s action, the brakes must always be applied in order to keep the vehicle speed as low as possible at the time of the collision.

If the speed of the vehicle is unsuitable for the road conditions, the car tends to get out of hand. Slipping in the front can also be caused by braking, accelerating or turning the steering wheel excessively.

!Releasing the accelerator pedal usually helps to prevent the front from slipping. If this is not enough, press the clutch pedal and turn the wheels straight. Never turn out the wheels! If the front of the car slides towards the outer curve, the steering wheel must not be turned towards the inner curve. Only after the traction is restored can the correct trajectory be taken.

!It is pointless to press the accelerator pedal too hard in a curve, because the drive wheels don’t have much traction in the slippery conditions. If done so anyway, traction will be lost and the front-wheel drive car goes straight (regardless of the steering wheel position). The rear-wheel drive car, on the other hand, turns to the side, in the worst case it makes a pirouette and the vehcile ends up in a ditch.

To pass an unexpected obstacle on the road, the speed of the car must be reduced quickly. Immediately press the clutch pedal and brake hard (without ABS, pump the brakes instead).

Passing an obstacle is significantly easier at 50 km / h than at 60 km / h. If it seems impossible to stop the car before obstacle, release the brake pedal (still hold in the clutch pedal!) And try to steer the car away from the obstacle with calm, smooth movements.

When a vehicle slipping is most times unexpected. There is no time to think, because you have to act now. Everything goes very fast and that is why it is necessary to have the right actions in the head and tips in the hand, to resolve the situation as automatically as possible.

If you feel that you are not ready to react to the unexpected or do not remember exactly how to get out of the emergency, do not sit behind the wheel. Please don’t sit behind the wheel until you’ve made things clear!

Don’t drive faster than your guardian angel can fly!

Source: Autokool Juhiluba, liiklus.ee, Porsche. Pilt: Veli V. Rajasaar

When can and should the fog lights on the car be switched on? It has been repeated often that according to traffic law, the front fog lights may be on while driving with the headlights in case of poor visibility due to fog or rain. Darkness does NOT count as poor visibility.

But how do you decide, when its necessary to turn on the fog lights?

Estimate the distance using posts
The law states that fog lights should be used if the object observed on the road cannot be distinguished from the background by more than 300 meters. However, it is very difficult to measure meters while driving. One option is to look at roadside signposts with reflectors. In curves, they are denser, but normally about the distance between them is around 100 meters.

Spot and be visible
In many ways, turning on the fog lights is based on the principle of common sense, that is, when there are difficult conditions that limit visibility (except for darkness) – fog, rain, water rising from behind cars, heavy snowfall.

The purpose of the fog lights is to be visible but also to improve one’s vision. The fog lights are low, so they do not reflect as much back into the driver’s eye from thick snow as the low beam or high beam would.  Therefore, if there is a “Windows screen saver” effect in the snow, fog lights should be used. Of course, the speed must also be reduced.

Rear fog light is prohibited built-up areas
Although the issue of front fog lights is mainly highlighted as a problem, the correct use of the rear fog light is equally important. The rear fog light must not be used in the built-up areas, as it is so bright that the brake light will no longer be visible. If the vision of your vehicle in front is disturbed, the car disappears from time to time at 300-500 meters, then reappears, it is time to turn on the rear fog light. It can be assumed that the car behind you will then have the same problem.

Snow covers the taillights
When driving in snow, it takes an hour for the snow to the snow to pack on the back windshield and the usual taillight might longer not be strong enough shine through it. Even if the snowfall is not heavy at the moment, there is still a lot of open snow on the road. If there is no fog light in the car, you should definitely stop from time to time and wipe the snow off the windshields.

Source: https://auto.geenius.ee/rubriik/uudis/millal-on-oige-aeg-udutuled-sisse-lulitada/