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Skidding can cause serious accidents

Most skidding is associated with icy roadways, but this is not the only condition that may cause a loss of vehicular control. The chances of skidding are greatest when there is something between your tires and the road causing them to lose traction, i.e., a layer of loose dirt or gravel.

Factors that can cause skids include:

  • Ice
  • Water
  • Sand
  • Organic material
  • Oil slicks
  • Worn-out tires
  • High-speed driving

Maintaining Control When Skidding

If your vehicle begins to skid, follow these steps:

  • For front-wheel skids, take your foot off the accelerator, pump brake if appropriate, and steer your vehicle in the direction you want to go.
  • For back-wheel skids, turn your front wheels in the same direction in which the rear wheels are sliding. As soon as you feel the skid coming under control, slowly turn the front wheels back into the opposite direction, then straighten out the vehicle.

Brake Type

Know what type of brakes your vehicle has. If you are unsure, review the owner’s manual.

  • If your vehicle is equipped with an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), keep your foot on the brake pedal and apply pressure as needed. This allows the system to automatically pump the brakes for you and helps keep control of the vehicle.
  • If your vehicle does not have an ABS system, slow down but do not slam on the brakes. Pump the brake pedal until you can get the vehicle under