What is cadence breaking technique driving?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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11y ago

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Cadence braking is a technique used in cars without ABS to give a similar effect (i.e. being able to steer and brake at the same time in difficult conditions). If you've locked up wheels, you will be unable to steer no matter how far you turn the steering.

Cadence braking is the controlled rythmic application and release of the brakes to provide a balance between braking with locked wheels and steering control. It won't slow you quicker, but will allow you to steer round obstacles while slowing down. If you have ABS, the best technique is to press the brake pedal hard and the system will automatically provide the optimum braking / steering balance for the conditions.

This is because maximum braking is achieved just before the wheels stop rotating - so by stamping on, then off, the brake, rapidly and rythmically, you achieve the maximum braking effect (ie just before the wheels start to lock-up) without the loss of control from skidding wheel(s). Do NOT use this technique with vehicles fitted with ABS.

The best place to practice this is technique is on a dedicated skid pan - many race tracks have them and there are also private ones. Most don't permit unsupervised skidding though! Their tuition on controlling skidding/cadence braking is invaluable and above all, SAFE. A Skid Pan Session would make a great birthday gift, particularly for a novice/nervous driver.

Not recommended, but... if you really want to try out this technique (which could be a lifesaver), choose a large, completely empty, deserted car park (or a deserted airfield!) on a rainy night. 20mph is all that's really needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of this technique. Ensure you're travelling in a straight line, with NO pedestrians or objects near! Rapidly stamp on, then off, the brake pedal as quickly as you possibly can. Be amazed how quickly you stop, under control and with no skidding. As you gain confidence, try slightly steering as you do it.

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Q: What is cadence breaking technique driving?
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