The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Driving Tips to Prevent Skidding

March 24, 2009

Ice and packed snow on the road can suddenly cause a vehicle to skid, especially if the car is traveling too fast or going downhill. Here are some driving tips from the California DMV that you might want to pass along to your drivers: 

If you start to skid, ease off the gas pedal, stop braking, and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid. If you can't control your car on a slippery surface, try to find some­thing to stop you. Try to get a wheel on dry pavement or on the shoulder of the road. You may have to edge slowly into a snow bank or some bushes to stop.

To prevent skidding on slippery surfaces:

-- Drive more slowly and stay farther behind the vehicle ahead.

-- Slow down as you approach curves and intersections.

-- Avoid fast turns.

-- Avoid quick stops. "Pump" the brakes to slow or stop. (Do not pump antilock brakes.)

-- Shift to low gear before going down a steep hill.

-- Avoid especially slippery areas, such as ice patches, wet leaves, oil or deep puddles. If the brakes get wet, dry them by lightly pressing the gas pedal and brake pedal at the same time so that the car drives against the pressure of the brakes. Do this only until the brakes dry. 

An acceleration skid usually hap­pens when the drive wheels lose traction on the road surface. To maintain control of the vehicle, do not apply the brakes. Ease off the gas pedal and straighten the front wheels as the vehicle begins to straighten out. 

A locked wheel type of skid is usually caused by braking too hard at a high rate of speed and locking the wheels. The vehicle will skid no matter which way the steering wheel is turned. Take your foot off the brake to un­lock the wheels. Then straighten the front wheels as the vehicle begins to straighten out. Slow the vehicle gradually until you are at a safe speed to continue driving.

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