Driving a vehicle is fairly easy to learn. As long as you are not legally blind, or your spatial skills are severely challenged (read: can’t walk straight without tripping every two feet), driving a vehicle is not difficult to pick up. Most people don’t even need formal lessons. However, driving with an instructor by your side and driving on your own are very different scenarios. Losing control of your car can happen suddenly and it is a scary situation. Here are some tips to understanding and avoiding losing control of your car on the road.
In most cases when your car starts spinning out of control, chances are it is a busted tyre. Tyres can go flat, deflate a little, lose a bolt, completely remove from the head, get locked and many other things, all of which results in the vehicle spinning or aligning to a side. This can happen for any number of reasons: firstly and most commonly, a drop in tyre pressure can cause the tyre to lose a bolt, remove from the head or go flat.
Or you might have applied the brakes too suddenly and too hard, causing all wheels to lock. Or, something sharp like a nail pierced the tyres, although this is highly unlikely with modern tyres. Most of the above scenarios can be avoided by checking tyre pressure weekly, if not daily, and driving under the speed limit. Traffic rules are created with an awareness of how vehicles perform on the road; the law requiring drivers to leave the length of another vehicle between them and the preceding vehicle is to avoid situations where sudden braking is necessary.
Steering and alignment
Wheel alignment occurs when, over time, wear and tear can cause wheels to run slightly crooked along its axis. In a worst case scenario, you will feel the vehicle coasting slightly to your left or right even when the steering wheel is pointed dead centre. ‘Central alignment’ refers to the correct axis along which wheels should be turning, but many vehicles are put out on the road daily without its drivers being aware that their wheel alignment is a few degrees off. This is harmful both to the vehicle and the driver; if alignment is not adjusted, it causes the tyre to wear out faster, ultimately costing the owner more money in replacement than to simply adjust the best wheel alignment in Melbourne for the perfect alignment. If you feel that your wheel alignment is not perfect, have it checked – sudden changes in your wheels can cause you to lose control of your car in the middle of the road.
Apart from internal issues, external factors such as wind, water and sand can also cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle. Water is an extremely common factor: slight rains leave water on tarmac roads, reducing friction between the road and tyre, causing it to lose traction. This is called hydroplaning. Hydroplaning can be a scary experience, especially as tyres can skid suddenly and quickly, causing accidents. The easiest way to avoid hydroplaning is to drive slowly and cautiously when raining. In areas where rain is common, you can change into tyres customized for rainy weather or chain link the grooves of the tyres to prevent slippage. Sand storms can also cause loss of control and visibility drops to zero. In such cases, it is advisable to avoid driving altogether, as sand can also clog the engine and cause breakdowns.