How to Drift on the Snow With an Automatic Transmission

by Christopher DiSabato

"Drifting" refers to oversteering into and throughout an entire turn. The vehicle's horsepower surpasses tire traction, causing the rear wheels to slip at a greater angle than the front wheels. There are multiple techniques for performing a drift on snow with an automatic transmission. These methods dependent on the specifications of the vehicle's transmission, drive train and braking system. The following description lists the steps to perform an emergency brake, or hand brake, drift on snow heading into a curve using either a rear-wheel drive (RWD) or front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicle.

Step 1

Accelerate toward a curve on a snowy road surface.

Step 2

Approach the curve from the outside with adequate speed, steering in the intended direction of travel (toward the inside of the curve).

Step 3

Pull up on the emergency brake and simultaneously countersteer toward the outside of the curve (steer into the turn itself). Make sure to keep your thumb over the emergency brake release button, as the handbrake will only need applied for approximately one to two seconds.

Step 4

Allow the tail-end of the vehicle to slide. Continue countersteering and release the hand brake.

Step 5

Wait for the vehicle to face the exit of the curve, then begin stepping on the gas peddle.

Apply throttle (as needed) while countersteering (as needed) in order to maintain drift throughout the entire turn.

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