I've been happy with my 2005 Prius, and praised the systems which keep the
car from skidding on icy roads. However, I've noticed an unexpected side
effect of this system which could cause potential trouble.
In an vehicle without an anti-skid system, if you are at an intersection
making a right turn, and there is oncoming traffic that you decide that you
can beat, you simply "put the petal to the metal", some small gravel flies,
and you make your turn onto the other road.
However, if you try this in a Prius, when you "put the petal to the metal",
the anti-skid system kicks in, and practically shuts down the propulsion
system, stopping the gravel from flying, slowing you to a crawl, and not
letting up until you are most of the way through the turn. This can make
for a few heart-pounding seconds as you wait for the anti-skid system to let
up, and hope that the oncoming traffic doesn't arrive before you are out of
Whether you actually clear the intersection faster with the anti-skid
system, or without, is difficult to know. The psychological effect of
having acceleration removed from your control, while traffic is fast
approaching, makes for some interesting physiological effects.
Without careful measurement, I'd recommend that you not put yourself in
harms way in this manner. The Prius might actually get you out of the way
faster than "letting the gravel fly", but I wouldn't want to bet on it.
I know you didn't ask for a lecture, driving like this, if your Prius
would allow it, is both bad for your mileage and foolhardy driving.
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Yep. But, being human, we are all going to do something like this once in a
while. I'd owned the Prius for about 7 months before I had this happen, and
it was quite an eye-opener.
How does your car respond if you shift to B mode first? Have you tried it?