Grip: avoid uncontrolled skidding on the road

Published on 16.11.2022

Traffic conditions are set to worsen over the coming months, and while it's important to choose the right tyres to ensure good adhesion to the road, our experts have put together some advice on how best to adapt your driving as well.

 

Driving in the rain

Aquaplaning on the road is usually caused by travelling at an inappropriate speed on wet roads, resulting in a loss of grip. It’s ultimately all about the tyres. The higher the speed, the greater the amount of water that has to be evacuated from between the road surface and the rubber. In theory, a new tyre can evacuate 25L/second, though of course, the more worn a tyre becomes, the less efficient it is. At the mid-wear point, in fact, its ability to evacuate water is halved.
While it is important to control your speed, it’s also important to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front, especially as braking distances increase threefold on wet roads.
 

Driving on snow

In Luxembourg, as is the case in an increasing number of European countries, the use of winter or all-season tyres is compulsory, although the periods vary from country to country and sometimes even from region to region. To put it simply, when temperatures fall below 7°C, the car must be fitted with the appropriate tyres.
Snow tyres have a rubber compound designed to 'grip' the road, with sipes on the studs improving traction and grip on snow-covered and muddy roads.
 

Ploughing ahead

Is your car not going in the direction you want it to? If your car keeps going straight ahead despite your attempts to turn it, then it’s time to take action. There’s no point in trying to keep turning as your tyres have already lost grip and increasing the angle will only make things worse. Resist the urge to brake, too! The front tyres are already skidding and the additional pressure of braking will make the situation uncontrollable.
So what are you supposed to do? Look straight ahead, try to pre-empt what’s going to happen and don’t panic. The best way to get out of an under-steer is to take your foot off the brake while at the same time slowly reducing the steering angle to allow the tyres to grip the tarmac. Better grip and a slower speed considerably increase your chances of avoiding an accident.
 

Pulling up the rear

Over-steering occurs when your car turns more than you want it to and is caused when the rear tyres lose grip. You then need to accelerate smoothly to transfer the weight of the vehicle to the rear, while turning the steering wheel in the same direction as the rear end slides.
Remember to keep an eye on the direction of travel and be aware of how the car feels. This will enable you to be ready to adjust the controls when you regain control. If you’re driving a rear-wheel drive car, make sure that the over-steering is not caused by a simple wheel rotation. If it is, adjust the throttle pressure to avoid wheel spin.


AC is there to advise you and help you take care of yourself. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at acl@acl.lu or on +352 450045-1.

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