Unexpected Snap Understeer.

Successful recovery from an unexpected skid. I thought about not posting this because of the embarrassment factor, but then thought it might be somewhat educational.


I’ve come around this corner many times in the rain and never experienced this before so I was caught off guard. Usually when this car plows it’s because it’s getting too much throttle. This instance was different as the car was coasting and the brakes lightly on. Also as you can see this happened at an extremely low speed. Two things people do instinctively in a front wheel skid (and which I did here momentarily) are to get on the brakes and steer harder - neither action will stop a skid, and often can only make it worse.

You can see that as soon the brakes are released (watch the foot) the car begins going where I’ve pointed it. This seems counter intuitive in the moment, but if the front wheels aren’t rolling they can’t steer. If the car begins to plow and you get on the brakes you only make the front wheels less effective at doing their job if a wheel locks up. The important thing is don’t panic and slam on the brakes!


There are certain situations (like in snow) where momentarily getting on the brakes to transfer weight to the front wheels can help - but again if the front wheels stop turning, they won’t steer the car.

I saw several accidents yesterday and was lucky not to have caused another. Stay safe everybody.


PS: After this I pulled over and lowered the front tire pressure to the factory setting. A lot of service places and owners will over inflate tires, which is fine for getting good gas mileage, but not always good for handling.

PPS: Yes, I know what ABS is. No, this car does not have it.

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