Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

What to do in a skid

That safety course told me to steer the way I want to go in a skid. I always learned to turn into the skid so as to recover control. I’ve steered the way I wanted to go and ended up sideways, learned to turn very slowly into the skid until I recover traction then turn slowly to the target direction.

So there I was rushing up from Southern IL to get a bud to his wedding on a blizzardy night in my 68 Cougar. Luckily no other cars on the 2 lane highway, did 3 360 spins, managed to get it under control, and carried on at 35mph and no problems afterwards. Steering into the spin is what I did, I think. so much by instinct I cant even tell you what I did after the first 180. Saw a newscaster calling losing control and going off the road a slide out. New term for me.

I’ve never had to do it but the Patrol say if you go into a spin, put the shift in neutral, wheel straight ahead, and look in back of you. You’ll end up pointed the wrong direction but on the road instead of the ditch. I’d try it on a frozen lake but the way the weather is, I don’t trust the lakes anymore.

It depends on the situation and the traffic, there is no one fits all situation. Sometimes if you unexpectedly run on to ice on the road, it might not be possible to prevent an accident. At that point, chose the best accident you can have. Sometimes turning into the skid will take you off the road, which may bet the best option if there is other traffic around. Turning the other way is going to spin you like a top but may keep you on the road whict may be best if there is no one to hit If you start to spin when going straight on on a slight curve it may be best to go into neutral to eliminate engine braking and steer gently with your fingertips to regain control.
A couple of times I deliberately took my rig off the road to avoid killing someone who did something stupid. The one time, I just needed a tow, the second time I rolled and totaled the tractor.

1 Like

I’m wondering if the change in method may be due to the introduction of antilock brakes.

It isn’t really a change. Picture yourself in a skid to the right. You look right because it is where you want to go and you steer right because you are turning into the skid.

I’ll add… if you are in a fwd car, add a little throttle. In a rwd car, you let off the gas.

And do everything quickly but smoothly.


All true, but without practice most folks won’t know what to do when a skid happens. And often, once it starts not much can be done. Prevention is the solution.


The problem with “turn into the skid” is that in a right-hand skid the rear of the car moves right, but from the driver’s perspective the car is rotating to the left, so some people think you should turn the wheel to the left. That’s why I like “steer where you want the car to go” better.