If there’s any way that being a fan of rallying can help you in your daily life, it’s by providing motivation to improve your own driving skills. Although you’ll probably never achieve the skill of professional racing drivers, and it’s not likely that you would ever need to pilot your car in a four-wheel-slide on a gravel road (nor would we recommend that you try), putting some effort into honing your driving skills is not only a lot of fun, but will also make you a safer and more effective driver.
Where do you start with taking your driving to the next level? What about reading our series “Drive Like a Pro”, which shows you how to make use of rally drivers’ knowledge in your day-to-day driving? We start with basic things that may seem obvious to you, but which need to be done right if you’re going to drive properly – finding the right position behind the wheel, holding it properly or looking at the road in the right way – and we continued with more advanced stuff like negotiating a corner or driving in snow.
With the year coming to a close, it’s a great time to revisit the series and put everything in one place. Maybe it will help you with your driving – or you could send a link to anyone in your life who you think could make use of it. So, ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!
First, sit right!
What can be easier than sitting down, you might think. In fact, finding the proper position behind the wheel of your car is not only more difficult than it may seem, it is also absolutely essential if you are really going to be in control. In this article, we will explain how to sit right and why it is so important – and illustrate it with infographics.
Second, hold the wheel properly!
Many people think that since the steering wheel is round, they can just grab it anywhere they feel comfortable. Real drivers know that the proper grip on the wheel is the one thing that can make or break your driving. We will show you how and why to do it, and just as in the previous article, we’ll provide a picture so you can understand more easily.
Third, looking forward!
If you don’t know what’s in front of you, you can’t react to it quickly enough. Experienced drivers know that keeping your eyes on the horizon and using peripheral vision to monitor what’s happening right in front of you is the key to safe driving.
Fourth, tackle a corner!
Driving straight is easy (at least most of the time), but the corner is where your skills really show. Races are often won or lost on corners, and most single car accidents happen when turning. You could write a book about it, but we tried to compress all the basic information into one article. Learn when to brake, how to find the proper line through the corner and more!
Fifth, manage your traction!
In driving fast, or just driving in difficult conditions like rain or snow, traction is everything. If you run out of traction, you lose control of your car. Therefore, it’s essential to learn how to manage it to make the most of it. We created a “circle of traction”, which provides a simple way to understand how traction works and what to do not to lose it.
Sixth, recover when you slide!
Sometimes, you can’t avoid losing traction and you just have to deal with the consequences. To understand how a car behaves while skidding, you need to know about two basic situations – understeer and oversteer. We will not only explain the difference, but also show you the basics of recovering from both types of slide.
Seventh, stop it!
The least important thing about driving fast is gaining speed. The most important one? How to get rid of the speed when the time comes. It doesn’t matter if you’re braking into the turn, or avoiding a sudden obstacle – you need to know how to brake effectively, without losing control of your car. And we will show you how!
Eighth, don’t fear snow!
Many drivers get anxious when the snow starts falling. You lose much of your traction, your car behaves differently from the way you’re used to and generally, things get weird. We‘ll teach you how to prepare and how to react!
See you next year with more lessons on proper driving!