Neutral Braking on Slippery Hills

Ray made the statement “And more importantly, taking the car out of gear when going down hill is dangerous.” in response to the question at


There is one special circumstance when it is dangerous NOT to shift out-of-gear into neutral: That situation is when going down a VERY slippery, steep hill. Those that don’t live in places with very steep hills and a severe winter climate like Ithaca, New York, can’t imagine how much better traction you get in neutral. With the car in gear, the idle speed is pushing the car forward while you are trying to restrain the car to 2 or 3 miles per hour. This causes the car to skid. Unless you’ve tried it, you can’t imagine how much more control you have by putting the car in neutral in this very special situation.