Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. What To Do If Your Car Is Skidding

What To Do If Your Car Is Skidding

Car Skidding
ermess / Shutterstock.com

Driving on wet or icy roads can easily lead to dangerous situations when you're behind the wheel. One of the most common of these situations is skidding. While this can be scary to deal with on its own, understanding what you need to do to help yourself safely maneuver the vehicle out of the skid is something that anyone who gets behind the wheel should know.

There are essentially two different types of skidding that are the most common. Over steering is a situation that occurs when you turn the steering wheel, but the rear of the car begins to fishtail or go to the outside of the turn. The rear of your vehicle will start going back and forth in the turn, and this can easily cause you to lose control.

As soon as you realize that your car is over steering, you need to immediately let off the gas pedal. You should not hit the brakes either, so if you've already been braking, you will need to let off of them slowly. For those driving manual transmissions, you will want to make sure the clutch is disengaged. Once you've done these things, you will want to steer into the skid, which means you will turn the steering wheel in the direction you actually want the vehicle to go. Once you have the car moving in the correct direction, make sure to counter steer to make sure it remains on the correct path without skidding again.

Another type of skid occurs when the ice, water or snow on the pavement results in the vehicle making a much tighter turn than you were actually attempting to make. This happens due to a lack of traction on the road, and is most often seen when making a turn onto a street when the roads are icy. If this type of skid occurs, you will want to make sure you don't yank the wheel to other direction. Instead, let off of your brakes and attempt to steer the vehicle back on the correct path. A slow, controlled turn will often help your vehicle regain traction, helping to pull the vehicle out of the skid safely.

If your vehicle starts skidding, the most important thing to remember is not to panic. Simply letting off the brake or avoiding it and gently turning the wheel is a much safer option than stomping the brakes and yanking the steering wheel.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...

Related questions

Q: Why is my steering wheel and gas pedal locked?

This is a common issue with the Honda CRV. Occasionally, the steering wheel will lock like this when the gears in the steering become slightly misaligned. I have seen this remedied by physically rocking the vehicle back and forth until...

Q: Q: How many airbags does my vehicle have?

Your vehicle is equipped with six airbags, which can greatly reduce injury or save your life in the event of an accident. Your vehicle has two front-impact airbags, two seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and two roof-mounted curtain side-impact airbags. Tips The...

Q: Brakes not working at all - 1999 Jeep Wrangler

If your master cylinder is not losing fluid and you tried bleeding the system then your master cylinder is bad. The internal rubber cups got damaged when you allowed the pedal to go to the floor the first time. You...