How can I pull out of a skid?

Your car enters a skid (or slide) when your tires lose their traction (grip) on the pavement and start sliding on the road.

skid marks

When your car begins to skid, you may lose control of your vehicle because pushing your brakes or steering does not produce the normal result.

To prevent your car from skidding:

  • When roads are slippery, chances of your car skidding are increased, so when the roads are wet, icy or have snow, slow down and drive at the safe speed, and allow a greater distance between your car and the car in front of you.
  • When you approach intersections and curves, slow down in advance.
  • Avoid making sharp turns.
  • Avoid making sudden stops. Stopping gradually is the safest way to stop your car unless it is necessary to stop immediately.

To pull out of a skid:

  • Do not panic; stay calm.
  • Do not slam on your brakes.
  • Be aware and detect that your car is in a skid before it is too late.
  • React quickly and sharply to the situation.
  • Find a distance target that you will like to go and focus on it; this will tell your brain to react appropriately to the situation.

Your vehicle may go into front wheel skid or rear wheel skid. Each situation has a different experience and impact.

If your vehicle goes into front wheel skid:
Your front wheels have lost traction and are sliding, you lose control of your steering, turn your wheels, and your car still slides straight.

You need to put some weight on your front wheels, so it can regain traction and grab the pavement. In order to do that, take your foot off the gas and gently and gradually press the brakes. This way, the weight is moved from the back wheels to the front wheels and help the front wheels regain traction.

If your vehicle goes into rear wheel skid:
Your rear wheels have lost traction and are sliding, and you will notice that your vehicle’s rear is sliding to the left or the right.

In this situation, you will need to transfer the weight from the front wheels to the rear wheels.  To do that, slowly and safely accelerate while steering in the direction of the skid – that is, if your car’s rear is sliding to the left, steer to the left; if your car’s rear is sliding to the right, steer to the right.  This technique will stabilize the car and will help the rear wheels to regain traction.