Brake and Steer or Steer and Brake
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Brake and Steer or Steer and Brake

    Most cars nowadays have ABS. ABS will allow the driver to brake and steer safely at the same time.

    In this scenario let's say you have to make a decision of which to do first, brake or steer. You're driving 45km/h in a residential area on a clear day, suddenly a ball bounces out into the street and stops 4 car lengths directly in front of you. You are able to brake as hard as necessary and swerve safely in either direction if need be. Which would you do first, brake or steer?

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    At 45 clicks, brake AND steer at the same time. One of the nice things about french cars is their nicely progressive and responsive brakes that mean with a bit of experience you can brake hard without locking - ie DIY ABS
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Damien Gardner's Avatar
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    Personally James, i wouldn't use either method. My reasoning is that your teaching yourself bad habits, eg. if the ABS fails you wont have a clue how to respond, and from the little experience i've had with ABS, it's absolutely useless on dirt roads. I guess dirt roads are somewhat of a rareity in the states these days,unless you travel for hours, but certainly not here in Aus.
    cheers!
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  4. #4
    nJm
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    I was driving a Volvo XC70 last night on a gravel road and tried an 'emergency stop'. The ABS activated and it came to a stop very quickly! However I wasn't feeling adventurous enough to try it out while cornering...
    Nick
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  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Damien Gardner, I don't understand, you wouldn't use either method? How would you stop your car in time?

    I'm 21 and find most guys my age have a real disadvantage when it comes to driving skills. From track events I've gone to it seems guys in their 50s and even early 60s are better, more precise and quicker drivers. I've seen 59 year old guys in 4500lbs sedans out slalom guys my age in RX7s

  6. #6
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    nJm:
    I was driving a Volvo XC70 last night on a gravel road and tried an 'emergency stop'. The ABS activated and it came to a stop very quickly! However I wasn't feeling adventurous enough to try it out while cornering...
    I am SURE my new 306 takes HEAPS longer to stop (with ABS) on dirt than my old one did. It just doesn't seem to lose speed at a decent rate of knots. The old XR of course didn't have ABS and it seemed to stop much more quickly in the dirt.

    Anyway... at 45km/hr, you should be able to stop in 20 to 25 metres (which I'd say is around 4 car lengths including the distance between the parked cars) so I'd brake and avoid at the last minute. No point in going to the other side of the road unnecessarily.

    Semi on topic... discovered why my boot was full of dust after the last Aussiefrogs drive. The car's had a minor rear-end shunt (on driver's side) and the internal holes in the right side guard were bent out of shape, meaning the plastic plugs (a trapezoidal shaped piece of plastic) didn't fit properly. All sealed up now so hopefully I don't get dust in the cabin again.

    Derek.

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    I challenge anyone to attempt to moderate braking in a non-ABS car in an emergency situation.

    It just doesn't happen.

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger!
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    I have heard that on track most guys like to turn the abs off. But in a emergency situation on a road i prob wouldnt like to have it off especislly in the wet.

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Ive done it a few times. Dont mean to brag, but I didnt think it was that hard IF you know the car well and you have a vague idea of what you're doing. I didnt have to think about it, it just kinda happened. A couple of close calls would have resulted in a serious shunt if I had just stamped on the brakes and held it locked up. The feel of the pedal (and of course the noise ...) changes markedly between locked and turning.
    Maybe its because I learnt to drive when I was 12 on a farm, and spent most of teenage years hooning around the bush in an old R10 bush bomb, so I'm used to loose conditions on the edge (used to outrun the occasional dirt bike in that thing, by virtue of showing no mercy to the car whatsoever - 4 wheel bouncing drifts between trees sort of silliness )
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  10. #10
    1000+ Posts Damien Gardner's Avatar
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    Learn to drive YOUR Car, if possible turn off the ABS, and drive it in all conditions, then if the fancy electronics fail you can still, hopefully get out of trouble.
    Every car has unique features, be it FWD, RWD, AWB, 4WD, 4WS and the list goes on. Each requiring a different driving technique, this is where current driver education is severely lacking, resulting in car makers resorting to Electronic gadgets to try to overcome the increasing number of incompetents on the roads, rather than our Governments putting efforts & money into EDUCATION. WE all know they CAN AFFORD it from speed camera revenue.
    I've stated many time on here, The best way to learn to drive is by joining a car club & doing the available events, learning vehicle control whilst having a ball.
    cheers!
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    Damien.

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  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Pugnut403's Avatar
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    If you are on a dirt road, and you have switchable ABS, TURN IT OFF!.
    As for which to do, at 45 i would hit the brakes, try not to lock them up, and steer at the same time.
    As for ABS on ordinary cornering, braking while cornering will still destabilise the car no matter if you have ABS or not. Only do it at slow speeds and only if you have to.
    On not moderating the brakes in an emergency, it DOES happen if you are constantly looking for an emerging emergency situation. I was involved in an accident with a kid on a bike playing chicken with passing cars when I was a learner. There was no way to avoid in time, and I just hit the brakes and slid into the ditch. I was going fairly slow at the time because I couls see the kids at the side of the road and I was not sure how they would behave, so it was not fatal like it would have been if I had kept cruising past at the same speed, but it did happed fast and I was fairly inexperienced.
    That said, I was also in a situation ona heavily cambered dirt road approaching a blind right hander when a truck came flying around the bend and onto my side of the road. I hit the brakes and they locked which made the van start to slide off the camber towards a 20 foot drop. I modulated the brakes to produce a series of tiny lockups that slowed me down enough to avoid an accident while he got his arse onto his side of the road and still gave me enough steering control to keep on the camber and going straight ahead. That was nerve wracking, but not as bad as tha passenger thinking we were about to crash and reaching for the steering wheel eek!
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  12. #12
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    immy s16:
    I have heard that on track most guys like to turn the abs off. But in a emergency situation on a road i prob wouldnt like to have it off especislly in the wet.
    Yep, I'd like to turn it off on the track. The braking distances can really vary significantly with them on. You need that predictability when hurtling around the track.
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  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger! vanderaj's Avatar
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    Until you've done an advanced / defensive driving course, leave the ABS on. Most people think far too highly of their own skills and ABS units simply don't fail.

    I'll give you one example (and only the one, 'cos I've only lost control of my car on public roads once, and this is it). I was driving around Mt Baw Baw in an enthusiastic manner at night in October of 2001, far exceeding the conditions but still not to the posted speed limit. I came around a bend and my car, a 2001 Turbo Beetle with ESP/ABS/EBD, unsettled. The laws of physics still apply to such cars. So much so I went into a four wheel slide. I punched the brakes hard as you're supposed to with ABS/EBD, and whenever the wheels hit any non-icy patches they immediately slowed the car down and ESP helped re-point the car in the correct direction. Eventually, though, there was too much ice, and I was starting to go arse about into a tree on a 90 degree corner. By this stage, ABS had slowed me from 50 km/h to around maybe 20 km/h on _pure_ ice. A car without ABS would have just slid attitude first into the tree at maybe 45 km/h. However in my case, when the back left caught on gravel the car came to an abrupt halt (because I had my foot hard on the brakes and EBD was doing its thing), snapping the front around. When the front left hit, the car came to a complete stop, missing the tree by mere centimeters and luckily had me pointing in the right direction for getting out of the corner. The gravel on the side of the road was only around 30 cm wide. Before I had collected myself, there was another car coming who I had taken in a few moments before, and he also was sliding. I had to get out of there. So I planted the right foot and _because_ of ESP, I was able to really move out of there as only my left tyre (on gravel) had any traction.

    Without those aides, I would be most likely dead or severely injured. More to the point, if I hadn't been such an idiot, I wouldn't have needed them, but boy was I glad they were there.

    Leave the aides on _unless_ you know what you're doing, and even then, leave them on. They are far, far, far better than you. My 2001 Turbo Beetle's ESP tuned its approach around 200 times a second feeding from (IIRC) 12 sensors, and could brake each wheel individually _just so_ and play around with the throttle _just so_. Best human reaction time is 0.1 - 0.2 of a second, and you can only change your attitude in a linear analog fashion and cannot control individual wheel braking like the electronics can. Plus as drive-by-wire becomes more commonplace, you'll find you can't heel and toe as using any brake will cut the throttle completely.

    When I dragged my Turbo Beetle, I did a 16.55 without ESP and useless wheelspun on the oil spills for nearly 100 meters of the 400. I did it in 16.12 seconds with ESP turned on.

    So in conclusion, unless you're driving the same stretch of gravel road every day, and you've practiced with and without ABS to determine which is better, leave ABS on. It's almost guaranteed to be better than you. Plus take this course:

    <a href="http://www.deca.com.au/course/car/i-drive1.htm" target="_blank">http://www.deca.com.au/course/car/i-drive1.htm</a>

    I've never had an incident with any other car, and never had an incident which caused my car damage in 13 years of driving due to this course, and I do about 25,000 km a year in heavy peak hour city traffic. A good defensive driving course -will- make you a smoother, faster, better and most of all, a safer driver as you'll be aware of just how crap you were before you took the course (me included).

    Andrew
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  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger! vanderaj's Avatar
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    GTI124:
    immy s16:
    I have heard that on track most guys like to turn the abs off. But in a emergency situation on a road i prob wouldnt like to have it off especislly in the wet.
    Yep, I'd like to turn it off on the track. The braking distances can really vary significantly with them on. You need that predictability when hurtling around the track.
    Yes, ABS can shorten the distance to a full stop by maybe 25% and always tries to give you accurate attitude control, allowing far later braking. ABS can be unpredictable if you end up being in a situation where your wheels might have otherwise locked up (thus causing an off). Look at today's Indy for proof positive of this.

    That's why a lot of racing codes ban electronic aides, particularly those with controlled components (such as gearboxes/tyres/engines,etc like Formula Ford, etc), as it prevents differentiation between drivers as they all end up being as good as the aide's programming.

    Plus most offs these days are fun for the spectators rather than being a danger to life and limb for the driver.

    Andrew

    ps. I just visited Bosch's German website. They have some interesting articles and playthings on ABS, which turns 25 this year.

    <a href="http://www.bosch.de/start/content/language1/news/news_2993.htm" target="_blank">http://www.bosch.de/start/content/language1/news/news_2993.htm</a>

    You might want to use Google to translate the text, but the Flash / Shockwave toys are all in German.
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  15. #15
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Jamesnj:
    .....I'm 21 and find.....
    Ah...

    That answers a lot of questions about a lot of questions.

    AT 45kmh, brake first, then steer if you have to. And don't panic!

    With regard to driving skills not being learned by youth... yeah, you're right. The youth of today is determined that they invented the wheel and don't need any instruction. Very aggressively, they reject common sense and years of experience... what chance do they have?

  16. #16
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Thanks for the cyber slap-in-the-face Ray wink

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts tekkie's Avatar
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    Ray Bell:
    With regard to driving skills not being learned by youth... yeah, you're right. The youth of today is determined that they invented the wheel and don't need any instruction. Very aggressively, they reject common sense and years of experience... what chance do they have?</strong>[/QUOTE]

    Are you saying the youth of yesterday took all the advice and never rebelled or knew that older generation had information they must absorb? What a boring time in human history it must have been.

    wink
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  18. #18
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    hmmmm...at 45km/h.....only....mate...u r hardly moving at that speed....why dont u try it (ie.braking from 45km/h)....most modern vehicles will stop before u can fart (excuse the language)...seriously...though, if u r in a reasonably small car and u ve got 20 (maybe less)meters to spare u should easilly pull up in time....and as Ray and many have said steer away if u cannot wash away the speed....but at 45km/h....really breaking at that speed should not be an issue with or without abs...

    cheers
    dino

  19. #19
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Yep, you're right, ABS is normally unpredictable where otherwise I would've locked on the track. Same braking point and same speed into a corner and sometimes I'd lockup for 0.05 of a sec before the ABS kicks in and other times it would be longer. Made some of the entry speeds hard to control...

    Can you turn off ABS just by pulling the fuse?

    I wouldn't recommend doing this on public roads though.

    I know some Euro cars with ABS have lots of problems on gravel roads. They're better today than in the past, by my parent's Volvo 850 was a mess on dirt roads, would engage the ABS so easily, you really were better off with it off.
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  20. #20
    nJm
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    Still, any improvement in braking distance is welcome. I know that my uncle's bmw m3 will come to a complete halt from 100km/h in something like 2.6 seconds. I also know if I apply maximum brakes in my 505 at 60km/h or higher it will lock at least one wheel and tends to feel quite unstable.
    Nick
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  21. #21
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hi Guys,

    I'm certainly NOT an expert, but if you have a kid run out from between two cars, your NOT going to have time to think "will I brake or steer". If they have run out from between to parked cars you ***may*** have time to swerve into one of the parked cars (rear ending/side swiping it HARD), or swerve into the on-coming traffic --You could get lucky and there will be none.

    By the time you get your foot from the accelerator to the brakes and start to stop, you'll most likely have hit them (if only you were always given 20meters warning you should never really hit anything ).

    ABS brakes?? The only place to turn them off is gravel roads, they enormously increase the braking distance on gravel as they don't allow a pile of gravel to build up in front of the locked wheels (slowing you much more rapidly).

    seeya,
    Shane L.

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  22. #22
    Fellow Frogger! DTwo's Avatar
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    All this "there's no way you can panic break without locking up wheels and sliding" is a joke

    Granted, alot (most) of people may do this (lock and slide)...but to say it's "impossible" for someone to instinctively threshold brake in an emergency is stretching things a little far.

    Go do an advanced driver course, club events etc etc get to know the characteristics of your car instinctively.

    ABS is wonderful and all.....but I wonder (as i posted in the past) whether people are just getting lazier and less skillful in their driving as technology makes it easier and easier for them to drive without having any idea what's happening underneath them.

  23. #23
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    remeber...we r only talking 45km/h scenario...anybody who cannot pull up a car within app 20 odd metres (4 car lengths) should NOT BE DRIVING...full stop.....either way natural human reaction is to BREAK hard (especially with a little kiddie staring at u)..so i say go with INSTINCT BUT practice some AVOIDANCE just so that u can (if u have 2) leave the breaks well alone (u need to be able to OVERRIDE the natural instinct)....hell there have been situations where ONE neeeds to accelerate hard to save oneself....its all about reflexes, practice, experiance and vehicular dynamics and technology....one needs to make all these work in HARMONY for best results...

    cheers
    dino

    ps...i still think most vehicles will stop A LOT EARLIER than what our government would have us believe.....make sure your stoppers are in good nick...test them out and u ll be surpised how quickly some cars can pull up....still believe manufacturers can do much better...

  24. #24
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    just read your post dtwo...agree totally....

    cheers
    dino

  25. #25
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    DTwo:
    All this "there's no way you can panic break without locking up wheels and sliding" is a joke

    Granted, alot (most) of people may do this (lock and slide)...but to say it's "impossible" for someone to instinctively threshold brake in an emergency is stretching things a little far.
    I'm saying it's impossible. Quote as much fluffy theory as you want, but if there's a kid in front of you and impact is inevitable, any driver will lock up. If by chance an accident is avoided, don't be a dill and blame it on 'instinct'. It's just pure luck.

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