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Skip the Skids This Winter

Learn what to do if your car skids this winter.

Every driver has felt that heart-stopping sensation of skidding on ice and snow. Most drivers instinctively slam on the breaks and hope for the best, but there's a lot more you can do to avoid an accident by remembering some simple tips. 

The most important thing to remember when skidding is not to panic!  Also, keep your eyes focussed on a target in the distance. Choose a point further down the road, in the direction you are headed, and stay focussed on that object. This will stop you from "over-correcting."

The front wheel skid most commonly occurs while driving in snow or icy conditions, causing you to lose control of both wheels and your steering wheels. In that case, grab hold of the wheel to gain control, take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction of the tires. If your car has a manual transition, depress the clutch. With your eyes focussed on your "target," try to steer the car back on course. 

If you don't regain control of the car within a few seconds, depress the brake slightly. If your car doesn't have anti-lock brakes, pump the brakes. Braking will help transfer power to the front of the car, but braking too suddenly can cause the wheels to lock, which will make the skid worse. 

A Rear wheel skid, happening when you lose traction of the back tires, most often happens when you speed into turns or over-brake. This causes the front tires to try and "catch up" to the back tires. The back end of the car slides out to the left or right, which is known as "fishtailing." If the back end of your car suddenly slides to the left, turn to the right just enough to straighten our the car, bringing the front and back wheels in alignment. 

 At All-Star Driver, good driving means safe driving. Try to avoid driving at all during bad weather this season, but if you must, remember to drive slow, increase following distance between your car and others. Happy driving!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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