Saturday, March 15, 2008

AWD Drifting

The snow was coming down fairly good today. Driving was especially treacherous on the streets, and even though salt had been put down, common sense said to slow the hell down. But in the parking lot of the Atlantic Super Store, I decided to try a large open are where there were no cars around. It was time to try the all wheel drive drift!

The dangers of drifting is that you can end up accidentally hitting other people, cars, light poles, and curbs. I made sure that none of those objects were around. Once the Subaru was ready I revved it up and began making tight circles with the car, then turning the wheel and making the car go sideways. Huge rooster tails of snow erupted into the air and some people looked on in the distance at the noise and mess I was making.

I made sure that the drifting was short and controlled. You never want to drift where you are too close to people or cars. After about 5 minutes of drifting I decided to get back to the normal roads and drive slow and steady once again. The goal in drifting is to get your car following an arc and keep the wheels pointed in the opposite direction of where you are travelling.

However, I did take the on-ramp that was leading to the highway and try pushing the gas a little bit. Big mistake: The car immediately tried to go sideways off the road. Letting off the gas helped get the car back under control. Last year I had two accidents which I am not very proud of. I now realize that driving an AWD car takes quite a bit of practice and common sense - both of which I did not have. I am still working on getting my driving skills to a point where I do not need to constantly remind myself to drive the road conditions and not what I feel like driving (ie. speeding).

One thing I noticed today when driving is that a lot of people were not driving slower than the speed limit. I noticed a Chevy Cobalt passing me going beyond the speed limit. This was with ice on the roads. I could visualize this person easily going off the road or sliding into MY lane. I guess when you get a few accidents under your belt you can really get nervous sometimes.

If you're out in the winter snow and drifting, please drop me a line and say hello.

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