How to Control Skids

Wednesday, 6th May 2020

How to Control Skids

Driving on ice is best avoided if you possibly can. However, when your journey is absolutely essential, then you need to be well prepared to drive as safely as possible.

Before you go any further, you can read our guide: how to drive on icy roads. With information on how to prepare for icy conditions and top tips for driving on icy roads, it’s a great place to start.

Controlling your car if it skids on ice

The first thing to remember is not to panic. Staying calm will allow you to deal with the situation more effectively and reduce the risks of having an accident.

If your car starts to skid, your car is going to either to understeer or oversteer.

When your car Understeers (Front Wheel Skid)

This is a situation that can be handled more easily in comparison to oversteering which is trickier to control.

Understeering means that the front wheels of the car lock and lose grip while the rear wheels still have grip. In this situation try to slow down and take some steering lock off to help your tyres regain grip on the road.

As soon as you are going slow enough, try to add a little lock and that might get you back on track.

In this situation just do your best not to slam on the brakes which will make things worse.

When your car oversteers (Rear Wheel Skid)

Oversteering means that your rear tyres lose grip on the road. This is usually caused when exiting a corner at speed or with too much power. This makes the rear end of the car get lighter therefore the rear tyres lose grip.

In this instance you shouldn’t apply brakes, instead if you apply a bit of throttle this should get the rear end of the car back on track.

Another thing you should do is to drive in the direction of the skid, while adjusting the nose of the car to the direction of travel.

If you follow these steps while going slowly and being cautious the car should respond to the skid and follow your direction of travel.

Winter Tyres

Winter tyres can help prevent oversteering and understeering on ice, and therefore keep you driving more safely in winter. If you haven’t already, schedule your appointment at your local HiQ Centre and get your winter tyres fitted.

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