STEERING OUT OF A SKID: IT’S SCARY, BUT YOUR CAR CAN STAY IN CONTROL
Welcome to skidding 101, a very important part of your drivers education knowledge base. Skids are scary, but they can happen to anyone. One wrong move and BAM! You’re in a skid and you’re trying to stay in control.
When you skid, your back tires lose traction with the road surface and try to move toward the front of your vehicle. The momentum can make the back of your car swing around in a fishtailing motion putting you and your car’s safety in jeopardy. This is really similar to the experience you have when you hydroplane, only your front tires maintain some control. That’s enough to make anyone freak out, but it’s important that you stay calm and in control of the situation.
Even though skids are more likely to happen in bad weather (rain, snow, slippery roads etc.), they can happen in all conditions. If you have anti skidding/ anti-lock brakes, or four-wheel drive, these features should help prevent skids and hydroplanes. Unfortunately though, these tools aren’t always 100% effective. Luckily we’re about to give you some driving safety tips for handling and reacting to car skids. You > skid.
The first thing you want to do is take your foot off of the brake and accelerator pedals. As you do that, look in the direction you want to travel. This is really important. Have you ever looked at something as you were riding your bike and started accidentally steering in that direction? That’s exactly what will happen. So make sure you’re looking the direction you want to go.
Next, you will slowly turn the wheel toward that direction. Be very careful not to oversteer or you will just keep skidding in the other direction. In these kinds of cases, it’s better for your to understeer than oversteer. When you finally get under control and back on track, slowly straighten your wheel. Again, make sure you do not oversteer. At this point, you should be good to go and your tires should start to regain control.
Let’s recap: 1. Stay calm. 2. Keep your foot of the pedals. 3. Gently steer in the direction you want to go- don’t oversteer or jerk the wheel too quickly. Now you can be confident and ready to react if you begin to skid.
Make sure to check out the rest of our safe driving videos for more tips to keep you in control on the road!