Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What should I do if I lose control?

asked by on

What should I do if I lose control?

A: Losing control of your vehicle can be frigh...

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.


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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do I use the delayed locking feature?

The delayed locking feature is present on some models of the vehicle. The feature occurs automatically whenever the door lock switch is pressed inside of the vehicle while a door is open. When all doors are closed, the vehicle will...

Q: How do I use the emergency trunk release?

The emergency trunk release is an important safety feature that can help you if you are ever stuck in the trunk. The emergency release hangs from the top of the trunk, and glows in the dark. If you are ever...

Q: Rack and pinion has a leak

A visual inspection of the power steering system is required. Concerning a BMW, it is slightly more labor intensive because all the power steering components are on the underside of the vehicle which requires lifting and removing the shields underneath....

Related articles

How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.