Handling Skids This Winter

Dec 01, 2009

We are always happy to pass along the Kentucky Driver Manual’s tips for driving in hazardous conditions.  With wintry weather already becoming a problem across parts of the country, vehicle skidding is becoming more likely to affect both fleet and non-fleet drivers.


Here are some helpful guidelines for regaining control of your vehicle if it begins to skid on an icy road:


  • Release the brake or accelerator. If you are skidding in a straight line and have to use the brakes, do not brake hard. This will only lock your wheels and make the skid worse. You should pump the brakes gently unless your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes, in which case you should apply steady pressure. Your brakes will work the best and stop you quicker if they are not locked up.
  • If you begin to skid sideways, you need to turn the wheel in the direction the back of the vehicle is skidding. This will allow the front of the vehicle to line up with the back.
  • As soon as the vehicle begins to straighten out, turn the wheel back to prevent the vehicle from skidding in the opposite direction.


Continue to correct your steering, left and right, until you recover completely from the skid. The most important vehicle control to use during a skid is the steering wheel.


Remember, when driving in any conditions it is important to keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times except when being used for another driving task.


Forward these tips to your drivers, and encourage them to spread them around.  Getting into the habit of spreading advice on hazardous conditions will make the roads safer for everyone.


Photo courtesy of hinagiku under the Creative Commons License.