For some reason, a couple of close calls have bubbled up into my memory banks recently.
Then today I was digging deeper into the commonly accepted rule of thumb that if you replace two tires, the new ones go on back. Something about oversteer. And squirrely rear end due to hydroplaning.
I'm not sure I agree even though all the cool people say It Is So--after all, how can you ever rotate your tires if the good ones have to be at one end? And the difference in wear will be even more pronounced after you've done five or six thousand miles with the older tires doing most of the work?
Or do you just fuggeddaboutit later on when the cool peoples' wisdom has been satisfied?
Of all the arguments I've seen advocating this practice, I haven't seen that particular bump in the road addressed.
The first shave was when I was still in high school and wheeling a couple of my buddies, Bob and Jim, around in the family Cadillac. We were (i.e. I was) hauling ass north on Oakwood Blvd. in Dearborn MI in the dark of night. There's an underpass there preceded by a somewhat abrupt right jog. At whatever speed--it was way too much--the sharp right caught me by surprise and I yanked the tiller to 30 degrees or so starboard. The Caddy went into a sideways slide. I'd call it a power slide but I was probably off the throttle at that point.
I yanked the wheel to the left, and we were back on course, in our proper lane and not having been dashed to pieces and the car broken in half by a sideways collision with the concrete abutment. As I recall there was no further steering correction to be made, just that one correction on the wheel. No tail wagging no further excitement. Nobody peed or pooped. That's always good.
Jim said he'd never ride with me again. A promise I believe he kept.
A few years later in San Francisco, driving my cousin's Corvair convertible (year unknown) stick shift heading toward Marin Co. with me driving and her passengering, I cooked it into an intersection too fast and as I cranked the wheel left, the ass end started to come around to the right. Oversteer I think the fancy car mag guys call it. Again I got the ship corrected with no further wiggle-waggle and we proceeded on north. Not sure my cousin ever asked me to drive again. Probably not, she was a pretty sedate driver.
Either of those situations could have ended badly, as in The End in the first case or nasty injuries or worse in the second case.
Another Caddy event, this involved three in front three in back on the interstate. I was hauling ass as usual and we got into a skid at speed. I wasn't used to a load in back and we got a bit of oversteer again is my presumption, the ass end slid a bit but I got it back under control and we ended up just off the road. The car started back up again and all ended well.
So the theme here is a young driver overcooking. I was fortunate in that there were no secondary actions after the initial screw-up and correction. That's always good.
They didn't have driving schools when I was a kid. Well, Driver's Ed. Driving around a parking lot and eventually out on the road with some stiff who explains hand-over-hand turning.
OTOH I should have taken up go-cart racing, that would have cooked off some of my youthful speed juices and taught me a lot about vehicle dynamics. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.