Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Car Facts

1. Avoid the Target
One of the main problems in an accident is “target fixation.” Look at it like this; if you mash on the brakes and stare at the bumper in front of you, you are going to hit that bumper. If you look at the escape lane, you have a much better chance of getting there. Just like in any sport, you look where you want to go.
2. Avoid Distractions
If you’re paying more attention to the cheeseburger in your hand than the road in front of you, it’s a big problem. Eating in the car and not paying attention on a whole are huge distractions. Pay attention and you can help prevent accidents.
3. Anticipate Everything
Try to see things before you get to them. In any performance-driving situation, it helps if you keep your eyes up and look further down the road then you are used to. It keeps you from being surprised. In racing, anticipation is everything, and the same applies to everyday driving.
4. Know Your Car
For any motor sport or stunt driving, the most important thing is to know the equipment you are strapping yourself into. All good stunt drivers carry an air pressure gauge because tire pressure has one of the most pronounced effects on performance. For your own car, it helps to be aware of your car’s safety features, like anti-lock brakes and traction control. Also, monitor your tire pressure. Keeping track of the simple things helps.
5. Don’t Stress
With drifting, people only see the violence. But as a driver, it’s all about remaining calm in the face of stress and danger. When you are calm, you make the proper decisions. When you are stressed, you make mistakes and your natural instincts kick in. Natural instincts are not conducive to driving well. The main advantage that professional drivers have over everyday drivers is that they have replaced natural instinct with proper technique.
6. Stomp and Steer
Racing and emergency situations are in some cases very similar; for example, under maximum breaking it is very easy to lock up the brakes and skid. Most people in an emergency will mash on the brakes and hold them hard, even as they try and steer around obstacles. With normal braking systems this will result in a straight skid, and the steering wheel will have no effect on the direction of the car. The brakes need to be released in order for the car to turn. This technique is called “separation of controls” and is a basic racing technique. However, with anti-lock brakes (ABS), stomping on the brakes and steering at the same time will work. The ABS system will balance the traction between steering and braking, allowing you to accomplish both tasks simultaneously.

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