Dirt-to-Pave­ment Tran­si­tion

Pro­tec­tive Driv­ing Skill #4:

RECOIL OFFGRID - - Pocket Preps -

CON­CEPT: Rather than a spe­cific tech­nique, the in­struc­tors at Bon­durant gave us more of a set of guide­lines on how to deal with rapidly chang­ing road con­di­tions. There are plenty of sit­u­a­tions on the road bet­ter han­dled by a con­trolled tran­si­tion to of f-road than slam­ming on the brake pedal or try­ing to sw­erve into the next lane with no warn­ing.

OVER­VIEW: Don’t give up your con­trol of the ve­hi­cle. Veer off the road in a con­trolled turn, just like you would take an off-ramp on the highway. Once you’ve avoided the ob­sta­cle on the road, you’ll want to try and square up your front end to­ward the road as much as pos­si­ble. Keep an even foot on the ac­cel­er­a­tor at a safe speed and, once you’re back on the road, ori­ent prop­erly into your lane as quickly as pos­si­ble and speed up/slow down as nec­es­sary for the flow of traf fic.

CON­SID­ER­A­TIONS: Once your wheels hit the dirt/gravel/grass, you’ll lose some re­spon­sive­ness in steer­ing and brak­ing. Keep your mind and your wheel ahead of the ve­hi­cle. If you turn the wheel right, don’t wait for the car to start skid­ding be­fore you cor­rect the wheel back to cen­ter. If the sur­face is loose gravel or sandy, any sud­den ac­cel­er­a­tion or brak­ing might in­duce a loss of trac­tion. The key is to be smooth in all your in­puts (steer­ing, brak­ing, ac­cel­er­a­tion) and an­tic­i­pate the ve­hi­cle’s next move.

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