Many bad things can happen to you on the road when you’re beginning driver and you don’t have much experience. One of these things is a skid – that’s the moment when you lose control on your car while driving on slippery road. But there is a safe way to get out of it.
Skid is a danger that can come to you in every season. It’s not only reserved for the winter when roads are covered with ice and snow. Every time road is wet after rain or there are wet leaves and mud on it, your car can go into a skid. In spring when snow is melting up and drivers change tires to summer ones, there can still be some ice on the road, so be careful.
Many drivers think that when car get into a skid that’s a frightening thing and there is nothing they can do with that. But that’s not true. Everything is in your hands. It depends on your driving skills if you get out of skid safe and in one piece or not. Of course you must be educated how to handle all the sudden situations on the road. If no one told you on driving course how to drive in a skid, you should buy some extra practice lessons.
Look on the Internet if there are any places nearby area where you live, where you can make some extra driving lessons in extreme conditions. Many people play down importance of this kind of things. But believe or not – these few lessons with driving instructor will make you a really good driver. You’ll be prepared on any kind of actions on the road – not only skid.
What is the skid?
Before you do that you should check some of advices below which will help you to understand what skid really is.
First you must know why your car can get into a skid. There are two types of skid:
- Over-steering – happens when rear tires (depends on a what kind of drive your car has) lose their grip or traction on the road. In this situation breaks are not working and neither car steering. Simply it means that you lose control over your car. You can’t stop it or turn the way you want to go. Your car will swing over to the left or right. It happens when you’re driving too fast on slippery surfaces.
- Under-steering – this happens to front wheels when your car doesn’t want to turn as tightly as you want it to. It happens when the pavement is wet. It has bad impact on traction between the tires and the pavement. In this situation you can steer your car but the steering is limited. Car must make much wider turn than it should have. If you’re driving fast, there is big chance that you will lose control over your car.
How to recovery from skid
Now read about few steps that will help you to recovery from a skid. The process is the same for over-steering and under-steering. That’s why it’s worth to learn it. You don’t have to practice many combinations. Just read about few steps of getting out of the skid and you’ll feel safer driving during bad weather.
Step 1 – when you start to feel that your car is beginning to lose traction first thing you need to do is to take your feet off the pedals. It’s obvious that you’ll be shocked when your car will get into a skid, but don’t forget to immediately take your feet off the pedals. And by saying “pedals” I don’t mean just accelerator (what you will probably do automatically) but also brake pedal. Both of them are blocked and useless in the skid.
Step 2 – now you must slow down and recover some traction. That’s the only way to regain steering control. Don’t try to manipulate with brake pedal – it’s totally useless when tires are sliding across the road. The only thing you can do is try to steer a car with a wheel. But in what direction you should turn a car? Some people say that you should steer into the skid, but that’s not a good advice. Skid is irregular and you can’t really say in what direction you will go in next second.
The best thing you can do is to steer into direction where you want the car to go. Don’t focus on the obstacle on the road. Ask yourself where you want a car to go and steer in that direction. It’ simple – if you want to avoid the other car don’t focus on it. If you will you have 90 percent that you will hit that car. It’s better to focus on safe part of the road. Remember to steer gently and without sudden moves – that will only make your situation worse.
Step 3 – when you feel that you start to recover steering control you can slowly start to maneuver with accelerator and brake pedal. Use one of them depending on what kind of situation you’re into. Do it gently – if you’ll push them too hard you can again lose control on your car.
You can also practice skidding on your own or with a friend that knows how to do it. Just find a empty road that has slippery surface and follow these instructions: accelerate to 20 mph (not more), hit brake pedal hard to get into a skid and then try to recover following above instructions. It may looks difficult but only practice will make you good driver. Don’t worry if at first try you won’t succeed. You need to try again and again. That’s the only way to be ready for sudden accidents on the road.