If the lakes froze on icy nights with no wind, the ice would have a smooth, glassy surface. Then it was time to get foolish with a car.
You accelerate straight ahead on the lake up to about fifty miles an hour.
Then you jam full on the brakes and turn your steering wheel hard over as far as it would go.
Since you have your brakes on, turning the wheels has no effect. The car continues straight ahead at high speed.
Then you release the brake.
The car suddenly spins round and round. You’d see the shoreline flash past you as you spin. You’d spin until the car comes to a stop.
Better hope that you’d hit no holes in the ice made by fishermen! And you’d better have at least a couple of feet of ice beneath the car!
Just once I had a perfect condition, where about an inch of fluffy snow had fallen on the ice.
That time, when I released the brake, flying snow completely blinded us as we spun. We saw nothing outside the car until it came to a stop.
(Understand, though, that lake ice is capricious. Water expands as it freezes, then the ice shrinks a little as it gets colder. The ice is continually cracking after freezing. When you’re on the ice you continually hear a sort of glug! sound as these shrinkage cracks form. Too bad if the ice cracks under your car! Go get a tow truck to drag your car off the bottom of the lake–that is, if you get out of the car OK, and don’t drown.)