Skids and Hydroplaning

It is almost certain that you will go into a skid at some point in your driving career. While very common, this is another very dangerous on board emergency. So, just how do you know you’re in a skid? Well, you will feel the loss of control, but, more importantly, you may feel the entire back end of your vehicle drifting out to the side. You need to gain control, and quickly. Consider this when you must recover from a skid:

  • Again, remain calm and DO NOT brake. That may make matters worse. Immediately let up on the gas pedal.
  • Turn your front wheels to the right if you feel the back end of the vehicle drifting right. Left if it’s drifting left. This is what is known as “turning in the direction of the skid.”
  • As your vehicle straightens out, you may feel the back end drifting the other way. Steer in that direction now. This is known as “counter steering.” Continue this steering/counter steering until you regain the ability to maintain a straight path.

If you are hydroplaning, steering and counter steering may not even be an option. Remember, you’ll be coasting on a film of water. Let up on the gas. As your vehicle slows, you’ll feel your tires grab the road again. At that point, continue as you would with skid recovery until you have control.

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