More harm than good

At one point, my father gave me some practical advice for driving on snow. He said if the car starts going out of control, you can let go of the steering wheel and the car will straighten itself out. This happens because the self-aligning torque of the tires turns the wheels in the direction of the car mass. That’s good advice for someone who doesn’t know jack squat about driving and who would do more harm than good when trying to fix a bad situation (me at the time). But it’s not good advice for a racecar driver.

Purposefully letting go of the wheel like this is a terrible idea. This is a race track. One does not throw their hands up at car control, literally or figuratively. This is a great example of how “practice makes perfect” fails. If you’ve learned a bad habit like releasing the wheel at the first sign of oversteer, you’re doing yourself more harm than good. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a long time to unlearn bad habits. But learn the right way you must if driving safely is your goal. That’s what Yoda would say.

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