Driving Tips | Recovering from Skids

skiddingSafe driving practices will help you avoid skids. If you do find yourself in a situation where your vehicle starts skidding, knowing how to recover from skids will make a huge difference. For your own safety, it is important to know both how to avoid skidding and how to recover from them.

Avoiding Skids

Skidding is a result of driver error such as braking too hard, turning too hard, or simply driving too fast for the particular road or road conditions. So to avoid skidding, lower your speed and pay extra close attention when…

1. You are unfamiliar with the roads.
2. Road conditions are wet or slippery.
3. Visibility is reduced (thereby reducing the time you may have to react to a problem).
4. Turns are sharp or curve back and forth.

Recovering from Skids

The technique for recovering from skids depends on the type of skid.

Over-steering (fishtailing) occurs when your rear tires loose traction and start spinning. It typically occurs when you’re driving too fast into a turn and brake hard. You start to go into a spin or fishtail. In this situation, take your foot off the gas/brakes and gently steer in the direction that you want the car to go. Slowly apply your foot on the gas once you have recovered. Turning too hard or applying too much gas may cause a counter skid where the rear of your car sways back and forth, which may worsen your situation. Try not to over-react or over-correct the issue.

Under-steering occurs when your vehicle is not able to follow a turn and starts going off the road in more of a straight direction. This usually occurs when you are going way too fast or braking way too hard for the turn.Since the car is not turning, your inclination may be to turn the wheel harder. Unfortunately, that won’t help your situation, so try not to steer too hard. Instead, you must lessen the hard braking or hard acceleration that is causing the problem in the first place.

Pay Attention and Stay Safe

Reducing your driving speed is the first step to avoiding skids. This is particularly true when taking turns or driving on wet/slippery roads. If you do find yourself in a skid, try to remain calm so you can think clearly. Over-reacting to a skid can often worsen the situation. Keep the tips above in mind to help you recover from skids on the roads.