Loss of Control

Skidding

There are three types of skids that correspond to the vehicle's three control systems:

• Braking Skid — wheels are not rolling.

• Steering or Cornering Skid — too much speed or steering in a curve causes tires to slip and lose cornering force.

• Acceleration Skid — too much throttle causes the driving wheels to spin.

Defensive drivers avoid most skids by taking reasonable care suited to existing conditions, and by not overdriving those conditions. But skids are always possible.

If the vehicle starts to slide, follow these suggestions:

• Ease your foot off the accelerator pedal and quickly steer the way you want the vehicle to go. The vehicle may straighten out. Be ready for a second skid if it occurs.

• Slow down and adjust your driving according to weather conditions. Stopping distance can be longer and vehicle control can be affected when traction is reduced by water, snow, ice, gravel, or other material on the road. Learn to recognize warning clues — such as enough water, ice, or packed snow on the road to make a mirrored surface — and slow down when you have any doubt.

• Try to avoid sudden steering, acceleration, or braking, including reducing vehicle speed by shifting to a lower gear. Any sudden changes could cause the tires to slide.

Remember: Antilock brakes help avoid only the braking skid.

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