Sports car in skid - Photo by nejron

Theory and Practice

First, you must understand the theory behind a skid and how to master it.

Then, you must practice.

It is almost impossible to steer out of a real skid on a highway, unless you have experienced it before. Reading and talking about skids are not enough.

Regain Traction

A skid occurs when your wheels lose traction. Instead of gripping the road, your tires will start surfing on the road. Braking will have no effect since the tires have no traction.

The first thing to do when you feel that your car is beginning to skid or hydroplane is to keep calm. Next, you must try to regain traction.

The only way you can do this is by slowing down! Take your foot off the gas and let the car slow.

It is important not to slam on the brakes. If your tires regain partial traction while you are braking, you can make the skid worse. Wait until you have the car under control.

Concentrate on Steering

Foot off gas, and foot off brake. Then steer.

Hold the steering wheel steadily and turn your front wheels only enough to keep them going straight down the road. If your car is skidding to the right, turn gently to the right. Turn left for a skid to the left.

Do not yank the steering wheel or pull it too hard.

How do you know which way you are skidding?

Your manual or handbook will tell you that you should steer in the direction of the skid. In a real situation, that is probably confusing. Try to look down the road and focus on where you want to the car to go. Steer gently in that direction.

Turning the steering wheel in the direction of the skid is the same thing as steering in the direction you want to go – straight down the road!

Be careful not to over-steer or over-correct, your car may start to skid the other way. If that happens, be prepared to gently turn the steering wheel the other way.