Thompson Sales Explains What to Do During a Skid

May 8th, 2020 by

Skid marks on black pavement along a country road

Skidding in your car is a common hazard. Skidding occurs when your car’s tires lose their grip on the road. When tires lose their grip, you lose control of your car and you might cause an accident. Thompson Sales discusses what to do during a skid if you ever find yourself in this situation.

Four Reasons for Skidding

A skid happens in one of four main ways:

  1. Braking too hard
  2. Turning too sharply
  3. Accelerating too fast
  4. Driving too fast for road conditions

The fourth way, driving too fast for road conditions, is the most common cause of skidding. This happens when you drive on rain, ice, or snow that causes the road to become too slick. Wet leaves or dry sand may cause skidding, as well. Thompson Sales wants you to be safe in your vehicle, no matter what the road conditions are.

Preventing a Skid

The best thing you can do is try to prevent a skid from happening in the first place. Slow down as you go uphill or downhill. Downshift into a lower gear before going up or down a hill. As you brake or accelerate on any type of terrain, apply pressure to the brake or accelerator pedal gradually. Leave plenty of braking distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.

In a Rear-Wheel Skid

A rear-wheel skid occurs when the back end of the car slides to the right or left, called fishtailing. You’ll notice a change in the car’s motion when this happens. Stopping may be impossible at this point if your tires have lost traction in the skid.

If you are on the gas, ease off completely. If you are on the brake, ease off steadily but not quite completely. See if the tires grip the road again.

As you are easing off the gas or brake, you’ll also need to focus on steering.

Steer into the skid, meaning if the back of the car fishtails slightly to the right, turn the steering wheel slightly to the right. You want to align your tires in the direction the car is sliding so they can roll with the inertia rather than skidding against it.

Don’t jerk the steering wheel too hard. Turn it just enough to get the back wheels on course. When the car comes out of the skid, press the brake pedal lightly and slow down.

Front-Wheel Skid

Front-wheel skids need a slightly different approach. Front-wheel skids usually happen when you enter a turn too quickly, and the car veers off the road.

Ease off the accelerator and try to steer the vehicle back on course. If nothing happens in a few seconds, then depress the brake pedal to engage the anti-lock braking system. Braking transfers power to the front of the car to help the tires regain control whether you have anti-lock brakes or not. Press on the brake pedal lightly if you don’t have an anti-lock system.

Thompson Sales and Your Brakes

Even with modern technology and anti-lock braking systems, you still may find your vehicle in a skid. The service staff at Thompson Sales can look at your brakes, tires, and anti-lock braking system to make sure everything is in working order. In fact, consider scheduling a tune-up with us once a year to keep your car maintenance on schedule. Contact the Thompson Sales service department for more information.

Posted in Driving Tips