Ownership The Best Place to Learn Winter Driving Is Obviously on an Ice Skating Rink
Britain's first self-driving cars will be unmarked so aggressive drivers don't bully them
Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock Britain's first self-driving cars to be driven by ordinary people will not have any markings due to fears that aggressive drivers will try and bully them. The Observer reports that Volvo is planning a pilot project in 2018 that will lease vehicles to regular Brits that are capable of driving autonomously."From the outside you won’t see that it’s a self-driving car.
When a few flakes of snow stick to the ground, my hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, shuts down. Schools operate on a delay, if they're not closed entirely, and everyone in town stocks up at the supermarket as if a hurricane were coming. All this is to say that winter driving skills, including what tires to put on my car, never quite made it into my high school driving course.
I wanted not only to learn how to drive in bad weather, but also to see whether winter tires really make as much difference as people say. But in my current home of San Francisco, opportunities to test out a car on snowy, slushy roads are few and far between. So when Bridgestone invited me to try out its winter Blizzak tires-on the ice at Chicago's Sears Centre, no less-I headed for the Windy City.
10 Winter driving safety tips to battle any blizzard
Blizzard conditions are great for ski slopes and snowmen, but they’re absolutely treacherous if you’re driving and can’t see the road ahead. Yeah, I know, you’ve got to run out to …but really, if you drive like a crazy person when it’s snowing, you’ll only end up with breakfast on your lap. Relax, you don’t have to fear flakes or dread drifts every time the Weather Channel tries freaking everyone out by going for a “snowpocalypse” ratings bonanza. A few simple rules, along with some extra precautionary steps, can make any wintry drive an absolute no-nonsense experience – one that gets you, and your car, to a destination in one piece.And hey, remember, nobody is perfect.
The setup on the ice was pretty simple. Two BMW's were placed behind a starting line, about where the zamboni comes out during a hockey game. The car on left side of the ice had Bridgestone's all-weather tires on it, while the car on the right had the company's winter tires. We drove each vehicle from a starting line with the gas pedal pushed all the way to the ground (because that seemed like a safe idea). At another marker toward the end of the rink, we braked.
When it was my turn behind the wheel, I admittedly contemplated how I would explain to my insurance agent that I managed to crash a luxury vehicle into the side of an indoor ice rink. Flooring it on a sheet of ice in a confined space is scary stuff, but you move on ice much slower than you would think, even trying to go as fast as you can.
The Dangers of Texting and Driving
While it may seem like an obvious thing to avoid, the ubiquity of cell phones today has lead to texting while driving being an all-too-common sight on the road. The Dangers of Texting and DrivingIf you find yourself tempted to text while driving, consider creating ways to make it more difficult to do so. Try leaving your phone somewhere you can’t reach while you’re driving, or download one of the apps mentioned above.
While both vehicles felt the same driving, when it came to stopping the difference between the two was unmistakable. The all-weather tires stuttered and kept sliding for roughly 12 feet after applying the brakes, reminiscent of pretty much every winter driving experience I'd had up to this point. The winter tires, on the other hand, were able to stop almost the second we braked.
Up until this point in my life, winter tires has been something of a mystery. If you live somewhere like Raleigh, you can probably get through the entire year on all-weather tires. They're the equivalent of wearing a good pair of tennis shoes. They're great for everyday, and they'd do in a pinch if you had to hit the beach or build a snowman. However, you'd probably have a lot better experience in a pair of sandals on those 100-degree days and a pair of boots when you plan on hoofing it through the snow. Same with tires.
Meet the Man That Drove His NSX 90,000 Miles Across the USA in Three Years
Fred Plan didn't intend for his first-generation Acura NSX to become his daily driver. Or to road-trip it across the U.S. But that's exactly what happened. To reach Minnesota's Northwest Angle, the northernmost point in the continental United States, the result of a Revolutionary War-era mapmaker's error, you first must cross the 49th parallel into Canada, then cross back into America. The border crossing is nothing more than a phone booth with two pre-programmed buttons: Press one to cross from America into Canada, and press the other for the opposite.
The difference lies in a tire's design. Summer tires have stiff sidewalls and shallower treads, making them perfect for gripping the road in warmer temperatures. When the temperature drops, however, those treads can get harder, making them like a hard plastic. That essentially turns your Volvo into a sled. Winter tires, meanwhile, have more flexible sidewalls, deeper treads, tread patterns specifically designed for winter, and tread compounds that stay soft even in extremely cold temperatures. That allows your tires to grip slick roads and keep you in control.
Winter tires, which have a mountain/snowflake symbol on the sidewall, can actually provide 25 to 50 percent more traction in snowy, slushy, or sleety conditions, a difference that could be huge when you're trying to stop in traffic during a blizzard-or on the ice at a skating rink.
It's not just about stopping, either. Winter tires also help you a lot when it comes to tackling turns. After our vehicle driving experience at the ice rink, we took to the ice on tricycles with car tires on them. I rode the trike with winter tires on it first and was whizzing around the ice as if I were on a dry parking lot. Suddenly overconfident in my skills, I challenged another reporter to a race with me on the all-weather bike while they rode with the winter tires. I took off just fine, but when it came time to turn, I barreled into the side of the wall, and had a lot of trouble getting back on track. While certainly embarrassing, it was a much better experience than I would have had doing the same thing in a vehicle.
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If you live somewhere when the average temp drops below freezing for several months a year, then winter tires are a good idea. When you decide to use winter tires, make sure you swap out all four, regardless of whether it's an all-wheel, rear-wheel, or front-wheel drive. Using several different types of tires on your car can negatively affect its handling and suspension, and can ultimately cause you problems. You should make the switch to winter wheels around the time you start seeing your breath while you're outside, and take them off once things start to warm up. Tires are priced comparably to standard replacement tires for your vehicle, and many retailers will store your all-weather or summer tires for you until you're ready to make the switch back.
As for me, I'm going to stick to my San Francisco winters: 65 and sunny.
Paul Gilliam’s Triple Crown–Winning 1953 Studebaker .
How does one follow up a 900hp, salt-searing land rocket such as “Stupidbaker”—Paul Gilliam’s 200-plus mph 1953 Stude? Well, in Paul and builder Alan Johnson’s case, you simply finish the project the two originally started on in the first place—a 1953 Studebaker Commander coupe … a hot rod street version.In 2013, Johnson's Hot Rod Shop introduced Paul's Bonneville racer to its destined performance grounds in Utah, followed by a public unveiling at the SEMA Show a few months later. But it was an entirely different Studebaker—with an entirely different destined proving ground.
Drive Smarter Winter Driving
http://www.DriveSmarter.co.uk/ Winter weather can bring delays, difficulties and dangers. But preparing your vehicle, planning your journey and identifying ...
New Ice Skating Pairs Partner For Young Australian Figure Skater Shesscintle
Introducing Lachlan as Shesscintle's new figure skating pairs partner, and showing you their first hour on ice together as Australia's newest figure skating pair.