Home > Ask Gary > Is it possible to avoid skidding? If I start skidding,

Is it possible to avoid skidding? If I start skidding,

Prius inSnowWith the weather turning snowy with frozen rain this past weekend and icy conditions yesterday, this is a great time to share what to do if you start skidding.

Here are tips for avoiding a skidding situation:

• Choose your speed according to the weather conditions. Driving at the speed limit can be really unsafe and dangerous. If special highway boards post new speed limits, as they often do on highways and the Mass. Pike, use that speed as your limit.
• Stay focused more than usual – no talking on the cell, eating or doing anything that takes a hand off the wheel. Keep both hands on the wheel, slow down, and focus.
• Slow down to a very low speed before turning or going around a bend to keep control of your vehicle on icy roads.
• DON’T slam on the brakes.

I realize it is easier said, than done, but if you get into a skid, try to stay calm and don’t panic. There are ways to correct or lessen the severity of the situation.

• If a skid is a straight-line one, the whole car drifts to one side. If it is sideways, only the rear end of the car drifts to one side as the front is pointing straight ahead (called “fishtailing”). In either case, take your foot off the gas pedal (accelerator). Wait until the skidding stops, and you feel you have traction again, move to the center of the lane.
• If you don’t feel you have good traction, then tap the brakes lightly. If you’re fishtailing to either side, always turn into the skid. If the car is veering right keep steering slowly to the right – don’t try to turn left to straighten out the wheel. That will only make the situation worse.

Using these techniques is easier than you think. They may help you prevent a serious accident, even in a heavy rain, this will help you to avoid “hydroplaning.” So when you see puddles of water or there is low visibility from either rain or snow, slow down.

Stay focused and drive slower for a safer winter. While it has been mild to date, it is nearly certain we will get our share of winter weather.

Make it a safe 2015 from all of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary
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