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.

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?

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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do I use my automatic dimming rearview mirror?

Driving can be difficult, and even dangerous, with headlamps and lights from behind creating glare. Luckily, your vehicle’s rear view mirror comes with a dimming feature. You can find your rearview mirror on your ceiling, centered above your console,...

Q: Where are the spare tire and jack?

The spare tire and jack are located in the trunk. To access them, open the trunk, remove the cargo cover (if extended), and lift up the luggage floor board.

Q: Van shudders at speeds over 50mph - 1995 Ford E-150 Econoline Club Wagon

As you speed up there is normal tire gyrations that the shocks and suspension will dampen out. When the shocks or another steering component go bad, it no longer can dampen out the vibrations. The shocks and king pins should...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
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.