So far, we have had one of the hardest winters in the UK since years. Lately we have seen the constant presence of ice on the roads especially in the early mornings after the recent cold nights reaching -13 degrees in certain parts of the UK.
These circumstances greatly maximise the chances of skids. Most drivers have never controlled a skid before, but in this blog, we will explain how to behave in this situation. Understanding understeer and oversteer might help you out to know how to react and control a skid effectively.
Most important thing to do is to not panic behind the wheel: 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
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 try to 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
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 can greatly help you in both these situations. If you haven’t already, schedule your appointment at your local HiQ Centre and get your winter tyres fitted.