Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

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MikeT
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Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by MikeT »

Due to an event last night I'm reflecting on my drivng skills, specifically emergency braking.

Old habits die hard and I obviously have not learnt to trust nor fully utilise ABS, let alone this even newer ESP system - which btw seriously impressed me last night!

With hindsight, I should have hit the brake pedal with full force but due to life-long experience of non-abs vehicles and habit, I didn't. Whether ABS would have avoided the need to subsequently swerve I will never know but swerve I did and thankfully averted seriously injuring three deer (and the mess it would have made of my car).

So what should I do? Try and overwrite my old braking code with an upgrade to ABS or can I learn to adapt according to the vehicle I'm driving? Sounds easier said than done.

Although I'm being self-critical, I should say to be fair it all happened so quickly I can't believe I had the reactions I did.
I was travelling along an unlit country road (50mph) when a distant oncoming vehicle appeared in view with glaring full-beam. My reaction to blinding lights is to avert my gaze so I briefly glanced at the n/s verge-line and the oncoming driver dipped his lights. As my view once again extended to the road further ahead, my peripheral vision alerted me to the deers legs illuminated to my immediate right from which appeared the full body of deer right in my headlights!
Hitting the brakes, I judged the deer would maybe get clear to my left before I got there but alarmingly my right peripheral vision once again picked out not one, but two more followers and I was literally on top of all of them at this point. I had no choice but to swerve right without knowing if yet more deer were following. Thankfully, there were just three and I still don't know how I missed them.

As mentioned, the car handled my swerve amazingly! I doubt I'd scrubbed off any significant speed between hitting the brakes then deciding it was too late and needed a change of direction. It wasn't so much the initial swerve that impressed me, more the counter-recovery to ensure I stayed on the road and not ditched it into a farmers field.
Hell Razor5543
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

What I would do is to go somewhere safe and quiet to practise (preferably a private road or a race track), and then see how well those brakes actually work. Just watch out for the invisible brick walls! When I heard my C5 had Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) I went to a road I know is normally safe for emergency brake testing (you can sometimes see driving instructors with their pupils there) and gave it a go (at 40MPH). After everything settled down I took a look around. I could not find any evidence of the brick wall I apparently hit!
Last edited by Hell Razor5543 on 20 Jan 2018, 18:17, edited 1 time in total.
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CitroJim
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by CitroJim »

All I can say Mike is you (and the deer!) were bloody lucky to get out of that unscathed...

I think it shows you must be a bloody good driver and little, if any, re-education is needed on your part...
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by myglaren »

I think you have been made aware of the improved braking technology and the ESP advantage but as James suggest a bit of messing around in an empty car park might reinforce that.

I'm surprised you didn't mention the Emergency Brake Assist though.
I have ABS but not ESP. The EBA operated one night when a Land Rover pulled out in front of me from stationary in a layby with no lights on and no indicators 3am!

I fully expected the worst but the EBA kicked in and pulled the car up in very short order - dead straight! ABS didn't cut in.
I was very impressed - as I had been doing 120mph (deserted motorway)

I don't think any previously owned cars could have matched that
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by MikeT »

Hell Razor5543 wrote:
20 Jan 2018, 17:53
What I would do is to go somewhere safe and quiet to practise (preferably a private road or a race track), and then see how well those brakes actually work. Just watch out for the invisible brick walls!
Yes, first test-drive of a C5 did manifest an invisible brick wall when I road-tested it! Very formidable brakes - in a controlled, safe and dry empty road.
However, in real-world conditions, it's all reaction/reflex and my experience taught me (especially as I also ride bikes) to brake hard but not risk loss of traction (in a straight line) and ease off the brakes if you have to steer, which was the order of that evening. Now, I'm wondering if I can re-learn my habits that can effectively take account of the different safety systems available? I somehow don't think it's an easy task to accomplish without, as you say, a private track and lots of lots of practice.
CitroJim wrote:
20 Jan 2018, 17:56
All I can say Mike is you (and the deer!) were bloody lucky to get out of that unscathed...

I think it shows you must be a bloody good driver and little, if any, re-education is needed on your part...
Very lucky Jim, I still can't believe how close they were once illuminated and then to see not one but two more following as I bore down on them at ~40mph. Had to let off the brakes then and point it toward where they appeared from. A lot of driving different vehicles for work not doubt honed my skills over the decades, especially my motorcyle training which taught me to always scan for potential escape routes (as you know, bikes don't like to change direction so easily, especially fast bikes) and if you don't override natural target-fixation, it's game over.

I guess I should just chalk it up and not fret over whether ABS would have eliminated the need to swerve.

EDIT TO ADD TO STEVE: I don't believe I have brake assist on mine, Steve?
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I think (but I am NOT certain) that EBA became standard on all Citroens at some point. I know my company Xsara Picasso had it, and I think my Xantia HDi (both of them) had it, as they could pull up in a hurry. I KNOW my C5 has it.
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by MikeT »

I just read up according to parkers from 04.... "ESP, ABS and brake assist are all standard, as is a feature that dries out wet brake pads for better braking efficiency."
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CitroJim
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by CitroJim »

MikeT wrote:
20 Jan 2018, 18:58
as is a feature that dries out wet brake pads for better braking efficiency."


Never knew such a feature existed but what a marvellously good idea :)
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I heard about the drying trick when Top Gear was reviewing the McLaren Mercedes SLR. In damp conditions it 'massages' the brakes to keep them warm and dry out any moisture on the disks and pads.
Last edited by Hell Razor5543 on 20 Jan 2018, 19:36, edited 1 time in total.
MikeT
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by MikeT »

CitroJim wrote:
20 Jan 2018, 19:03
MikeT wrote:
20 Jan 2018, 18:58
as is a feature that dries out wet brake pads for better braking efficiency."


Never knew such a feature existed but what a marvellously good idea :)


Yet another technique/habit I've aquired that's now redundant - to always pre-test /dry out brakes after going through wet floods.
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Michel
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by Michel »

It's easy to retrain your mind to take advantage of these modern aids. I've had no problem at all to simply hitting the middle pedal as hard as possible. You can steer at the same time as braking very hard. It's a wonderful thing.

Your natural instincts will (or mine did) when you get back in a car with no ABS and lock a wheel braking hard - I did this in the Ka recently and automatically switched instantly back to cadence braking. No problem at all. Like you I rode motorbikes and know how to brake hard with not much grip..
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by Spurious »

Always found the brakes seriously good on hydropneumatic Citroens. Even a 15 year old C5 will drop the anchors really quick. And they even give a little blink of the hazards under heavy braking.
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by MikeT »

Michel wrote:
20 Jan 2018, 19:23
It's easy to retrain your mind to take advantage of these modern aids. I've had no problem at all to simply hitting the middle pedal as hard as possible. You can steer at the same time as braking very hard. It's a wonderful thing.
Is that it, just reprogram to drive the pedal through the bulkhead and never let off, or is there a best-practice methodology I should try and learn?
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Michel
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by Michel »

MikeT wrote:
20 Jan 2018, 19:31
Michel wrote:
20 Jan 2018, 19:23
It's easy to retrain your mind to take advantage of these modern aids. I've had no problem at all to simply hitting the middle pedal as hard as possible. You can steer at the same time as braking very hard. It's a wonderful thing.
Is that it, just reprogram to drive the pedal through the bulkhead and never let off, or is there a best-practice methodology I should try and learn?


I couldn't honestly tell you Mike. I got my first car with ABS (a 1995 Mondeo) back in 1999, and have employed pretty much that tactic on all the ABS equipped cars I've had since then. In that time, I've owned plenty of non-ABS ones, often at the same time and never had an issue.
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Re: Old dog, new tricks (emergency braking)

Post by EDC5 »

I remember test driving my C5 and slamming on the brakes to test them.... both me and my passenger nearly left the car through the front window :rofl2: It must be something to do with the vast brake discs


I'm curious as to the EBA feature, is this when the hazards are activated?