What To Do If Your Car Is Skidding

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

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

Related articles

Is It Safe to Drive While Taking Antidepressants?
In In the United States today, one in ten people take antidepressants. And 90% of Americans drive. That adds up to a whole lot of people on the road who are using anti-depressant medication. Is this safe? Well, in controlled...
How Do I Take Care of My New Tires?
You’ve You’ve equipped your car with a brand new set of tires, replacing the old set of worn out rubber. They were noisy, and every time you had to brake hard, you were losing traction. Now you’ve spent your hard-earned...
What Are the Dangers of Driving a Vehicle With a Broken Suspension?
Every car, truck, and SUV has a suspension, the collection of parts that holds the car off the ground, cushions passengers and cargo from bumps,...

Related questions

ABS and Brake lights come on while I'm driving

This could be an issue in the ABS control unit. Faults need to read out in order to determine if the problem lies in the ABS unit or if it is a sensor or valve issue. You may need to...

Steering issues

It is possible that the play you are feeling in your steering wheel may be related to worn out wheel bearings. The wheel bearings may not be noticeable in the steering wheel when the vehicle is stopped or parked,...

How do I fold the side view mirrors?

The side view mirrors can be folded in to decrease the width of your car. You should always fold the mirrors in when parked on a busy street, or when in an automatic car wash. To fold in the mirrors,...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com