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Video: Consumer Reports teaches teens how to control sliding car

Consumer Reports News: June 09, 2011 01:23 PM

If you're behind the wheel and the car begins to slide, knowing what to do can prevent the vehicle from leaving its lane, spinning out, and potentially crashing. And this video will demonstrate how to control a sliding car.

You might have heard advice such as "turn into the skid" or "countersteer if the car begins to fishtail." But words are not very helpful without first-hand experience behind the wheel. If you feel your car sliding, you'll want to turn the wheel where you want the front of the car to go. But if you turn too abruptly or too slowly you might not be able to get the car back under control. Unfortunately, the first time you need use this skill is when you need it most.

Things can get exciting during a slide, but it is important to ease off the accelerator. Dramatic throttle lift in a turn can make a bad situation worse.

This is a lot of theory to take in. We heartily encourage drivers, especially less-experienced ones, to practice these techniques at a formal driving school. One-day programs can be found locally and are well worth the time and money.

At the Tire Rack Street Survival School held at the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center last month, we gave teens a chance to learn and skid control in a safe and controlled environment. The teens drove their vehicles on a wet surface at increasing speeds, as seen in the video. At first the teens had difficulty controlling their cars, but after attending the day-long school, the teens came away with new-found driving skills and the confidence to put these techniques into practice.

Jake Fisher

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