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How to Safely Spin A Car

Updated March 27, 2014

Stunt driving is becoming more popular thanks to action films and TV shows like Top Gear.

Driving stunts like spinning a car should never be attempted without professional instruction on hand – and it is also illegal to attempt car driving stunts on public highways or anywhere where there is a risk of injury to another.

However, learning tricky manoeuvres in your car is now possible on advanced driving courses, as well as stunt driving course at schools like Driving Skills.

Drag racers also use stunts to add to the thrill of racing and Santa Pod offers courses in racing skills.

Spinning a car is not something every driver wishes to experience, however – but it is always useful to get some instruction in more dangerous forms of driving in case you have to cope with a situation in which your car spins after impact in a collision or on black ice.

Spins are best practised on a smooth road surface as waste ground or dirt tracks require that you go at slower speeds and in a real-life spin situation, you are most likely to be driving on smooth tarmac.

If you are thinking of signing up for an advanced driving course or experience day, here are the basics of the car spin in a front wheel drive – but don’t try this without professional instruction or on the public highway.

  • Drive in a straight line until you reach about 30mph – in a manual transmission, steer left or right and pull up the handbrake, depressing the safety button in the top of the handbrake.
  • Lock the steering wheel in the direction you want to go in and once the rear end begins to slide, accelerate keeping one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the handbrake.
  • Once you have had enough of spinning, straighten the wheel, decelerate a little and then release the handbrake.
  • In a rear-wheel drive you need to set the driving wheel in the direction you want to go in before starting the ignition.
  • Depress the clutch, shift gear into first and accelerate fully while releasing the clutch halfway.
  • Your car should perform a tailspin
  • To stop spinning, release the clutch and decelerate simultaneously and then straighten the wheel.

Some drivers may suffer from nausea while spinning – and if you suffer from vertigo, you might also not be the best candidate to spin a car.

The technique relies on the balance between accelerating – and being able to steer and work the handbrake in harmony, which is why professional driving instruction is needed to practise controlling the vehicle while it is in a spin and when you want to exit the spin.

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and is not intended as an instruction manual or as safety advice. All drivers should obtain professional tuition and pass a driving test before driving cars and other vehicles and should follow the advice of their instructor and in line with the Highway Code. The publishers and authors of this article accept no liability for any accidents or incidents which occur as a result of not obtaining professional driving instruction or any incident which occurs as a result of following the advice in this article, as other circumstances may also contribute to any accidents or incidents which do occur. Always practise driving in a safe open location away from other road users and pedestrians, under professional supervision.

Ensure you get car accident compensation advice from a specialist road traffic accident solicitor who knows the law inside out before making a claim.

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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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