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Master the Skid – Everything You Need to Know

Sports car in skid - Photo by nejron

Theory and Practice

First, Try to understand the theory behind a skid and how to master it. Then, you should find a place where you can practice.

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

Regain Traction

A skid occurs when your wheels lose traction. Instead of gripping the road, your tires will start surfing on the road. Pushing hard on the brake pedal 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 make sure your tires 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 may 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.


  1. Would like to see more detail from “Joe”. Or YOUR comments on front & rear wheel drive. I have a 2009 Volvo “wagon. I would head in direction of the skid. BUT! When Joe mentioned “Front & “rear”wheel”, I “skidded to a stop!”
    I also have an “elderly” 1995 Ford ESCORT. SUV.
    DISCUSSING? (The SUV never had a problem. I’d like it to stay that way.
    Thanks guys.! I’m 88 and still need answers.
    Geri Nelson 12/08/15

  2. front wheel drive vehicle nose skidding to the left or right – must steer to the opposite…correct?

  3. Bryon Gibson May 4, 2014

    Hmm, My 1st email about this matter was replied to by a guy named Mark. I was indifferent to Marks idea because I didn’t study the picture on page 63 in the Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws Book. Thinking that turning the steering wheel in the direction of the skid in my minds eye was the “OPPOSITE” of what the picture shows in the book. I was agreeing with the statement in the book, but the picture I saw in my head was wrong. Mark is absolutely 100% correct about what he said. Driving Prep is 100% correct in the answer that they have posted. Hope this has cleared the air of any misconception on this matter. To all, drive safe.

  4. Bryon Gibson May 4, 2014

    I’m again addressing this skid situation. I have been taking this practice test all over online & this is the only place(Drivers Prep) that has an indifferent opinion. This is a country that entitles all to freedom of speech; but when were talking about safety this goes beyond just being a “TEST” answer. I’ll share the appropriate method once more. Here goes” in the event that your back tires begin to skid; one should turn the steering wheel in the “DIRECTION OF THE SKIDDING TIRES” not away from it. I suggest that people search around on the web a little more to see what I have presented. Also I have a Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws book; which backs up my case; the top of page 63. Your welcome.

  5. this is very nice know. the reason I say that is because not a lot of people know how to control their car when it start’s to skid at high speed. when that starts to happen it ends up in the situation of serious injuries and also death.

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