Q: What should I do if I lose control?

asked by on December 15, 2015

What should I do if I lose control?

Losing control of your vehicle can be frightening to say the least. If your vehicle begins to skid, there are three types of skidding it could be:

  • The “braking skid” in which the wheels will not be rolling

  • The “steering” or “cornering skid” in which tires can slip and lose force when too much speed or harsh steering in a curve takes place.

  • The “acceleration skid” in which the driving wheels will spin as a result of too much throttling.

No matter how great of a driver you are, there is always a risk for skidding to occur. If you lose control of your vehicle or it starts to skid, follow these steps:

  1. Ease off the accelerator and rapidly steer the steering wheel in the direction you wish to go. The vehicle may straighten out and you may gain control. If not, continue to the next step.

  2. Slow down even further. If you are still skidding due to inclement weather, keep in mind your stopping distance will most likely be longer than usual due to snow, ice, gravel, water, or other debris on the road.

  3. Avoid sudden braking, steering, or acceleration while continuing to reduce speed and shifting into lower gears. Any sudden changes can cause the tires to skid even more.

Tip

The antilock brakes that come with your vehicle only help avoid the braking skid. Emergencies and inclement weather still put you at risk for “acceleration skidding” and “steering/cornering skidding.”

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Car feel jumpy when pressing gas pedal.

This may be a sign of a failing throttle position sensor. The throttle position sensor (TPS) is a sensor used to monitor the throttle position of the throttle plate inside the throttle body in relation to your foot position on...

Grinding sound when stopping

The grinding noise could be anything as simple as a rock stuck in the backing plate behind the brake rotor to the wheel bearing. The steering wheel shake could be related, but the most common issue is an out of...

Truck wont go in gear 1989 Chevy C1500

Hello - I suspect there is still air in the hydraulic line for the clutch. If you bleed the system depending on gravity to bleed it for you, it just won't bleed properly. Pressure-bleeding it from the bottom-up is sometimes...

Related articles

How to Diagnose a Shaking Steering Wheel
An issue with your car's suspension or drive system will cause a shaking steering wheel. A tire and wheel out of balance can cause a vibration.
The Top 5 Selling Cars in Alabama in 2012
2012 2012 was a great year in Alabama for auto manufacturing, but that wasn’t the only bright spot. Vehicle sales in Alabama were also robust in 2012. Nothing much changed in terms of the vehicle types that were most popular...
How the Parking Brake Works
A parking brake (also known as an emergency brake) is part of the vehicle’s braking system. You will see a...