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Thread: Tell me what I did right / wrong

  1. #11
    There's lots of win in that story. You did well and made it to tell the story. Kudos.

    Problem I have with engine braking - you aren't actively controlling the amount of braking and it goes in the reverse order of what you want. If you downshift, when you first let out the clutch, the engine spins up to a higher RPM and gives you more braking power right away and then braking power drops off as the revs drop. Staying in the same gear gives more gradual braking power, but if even engine braking is enough to break the tires free, you then have to throw the clutch in quickly whereas if you just use the brakes gently you can modulate with more finesse. Of course, low-traction conditions are very challenging and engine braking is a crutch (skill?) that can be used to good effect if your brain is freaking out trying to deal with information overload.

    Ideally you'd want to brake more on the rear tire than the front. Is the Impreza 4-wheel drive or front wheel drive? If front wheel drive, I might suggest that engine braking might be worse than using the brakes on all 4 wheels at the same time. Rear wheel drive would be the best for a case such as this.

    As for a motorcycle - the good thing about the contact patch is that its longer and narrower than car tires (in general) and so resists hydroplaning much better. Not to say that this still wouldn't be very exciting to deal with on a bike!

    Question: Once you got behind the 18 wheeler, did you use the tracks he had cleared for better traction so you could brake and slow down quicker?

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  2. #12
    Moderator/RiderCoach 10,000 Posts! Clair's Avatar
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    Subaru's are all wheel drive.

    Yep, once I had slowed down to get behind him I was in his tracks and finessing the brakes to slow down faster. Most of the initial Ah Crap panic thing was I wanted to deploy some kind of air brakes / parachute to retard my speed much faster but without using the brakes. Strangely ... my car lacks the parachute lol
    Ride safe, ride smart, ride ATGATT because sweat dries faster than scars heal

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  3. #13
    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    In my little spin in January, the initiating action was simply letting up on the throttle when I noticed the lights over the hill were NOT moving. That was sufficient braking to make things really really bad, but also the only amount of braking that was available at the time. Sometimes, slick happens.

    There are times that the way out is not a fun way. That's why there are so many safety features in cars. Things WILL eventually stop; The key is making sure the stop takes as long as practical, if it can't be a clean one. Your choices, as described, were all geared towards controlling that situation, rather than escalating it.

    While some may call that "quick thinking", I disagree - to make this work, you have to make decisions early, rather than quickly. Tossing this back into the training environment, Search, Evaluate, Execute came into play BIG time. You were thinking about what the truck might do, and responding to that. Not waiting for it to do it and reacting (thinking quickly), but preparing for the likely scenarios (thinking carefully).

    I find that the most "exciting" times are when I have to think quickly.... Which is why my spin was less exciting to me than you might think. Having plans, even if we're forming them subconsciously, is what keeps a lot of less-than-perfectly-skilled drivers and riders out of trouble!
    Jeff

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  4. #14
    Moderator/RiderCoach We've stopped counting... Missy B's Avatar
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    If I had read the whole thing, I would say you did everything wrong, wrong, wrong. But, as usual, too long, didn't read.
    CURRENT BIKES: 2014 Suzuki Wee Strom, 2016 Honda CBR500R
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  5. #15
    Yeah, I run the place 3000 Posts! Derick's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience this winter. I was cruising along in my honda, which is a stick, all along while the road is clear. Well, I go into a patch where it is wide open fields and there has to be 4-6 inches of snow piled up into a drift on the country road I was on.

    I was going about 55 mph (speed limit is 50)....and I hit 6 inches of uncompacted snow at 50 mph....bad news bears.

    Luckily, like most have said, no sudden movements at all......thankfully there was no oncoming traffic so I had two lanes to work with....but I skipped a beat on that one, and my son was in the back seat too.

    Anyhow, being that is April, and I now have brand new snow on the ground, I have learned that in the midwest, dont ride until mid may or later.
    Rain Rain Go Away,
    So I can ride another day.
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  6. #16
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! mechdziner714's Avatar
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    Why do people drive with their flashers on? Its very confusing in an already sketchy situation.
    The whir of gear driven cams makes me giddy.

  7. #17
    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! atomicalex's Avatar
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    Ah, the fallacy of the traction control switch. Having traction control switched on does not equal having traction. common source of confusion among cagers with AWD and nannies.

    Clair, aside from coming up on the truck driving into weather, you did fine. You salvaged a very bad situation. If nothing else, you did far better than those around you. Gentle deceleration is the key and you got that.

    Had you hung back, you might not have noticed the hai. right away, but would have had the truck's wheels acting as plow for you.
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  8. #18
    RiderCoach 4000 Posts! AZridered's Avatar
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    For those who have not had the pleasure of mountain hail, it is often as if the road is suddenly covered with ball bearings.

    The automatic transmission may have been the way to go. With a manual, taking your foot off of the gas may have introduced sufficient engine braking to have started a slide. I have not been in too many zero-grip situations, but coasting through is generally the way to go. Sounds as if you made the correct decisions.

    We drove through the Utah side of that storm. No hail, just snow.

  9. #19
    Flirting With The Redline 4000 Posts! taylorcraft07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechdziner714 View Post
    Why do people drive with their flashers on? Its very confusing in an already sketchy situation.
    It is the law in some places to have them on if going slow.

    Dave

  10. #20
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taylorcraft07 View Post
    It is the law in some places to have them on if going slow.

    Dave
    Yet another Stupid law, don't they know those things can trigger a seizure for someone inflicted with photosensitive epilepsy
    …what is with these people, didn't they see Andromeda Strain ?

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