How to Safely Correct a Slide on an Icy Road

Snow, ice, and below freezing temperatures might make a beautiful view from indoors, but when we have to go out in this winter weather it can be dangerous. If you do end up skidding across an icy road, it is possible to to remain calm and regain control of your car.

Take your foot off the accelerator.

Ideally, your tires will slow down so your car can slow down. That way, you can get control of where you’re headed.

Don’t immediately hit the brakes.

Braking quickly is a good way to start sliding if you’re not already.

Keep your tires spinning freely to help you gain control of your steering.

After you have control of your steering and you’re ready to stop your car, there are two ways you can brake. Today, most cars have ABS brakes, which will safely stop your car on ice if you press firmly on the brake pedal. If your car is older or doesn’t have ABS brakes, it’s important that you gently pump your brake pedal rather than slamming on the brakes to stop your car.

Think before you steer.

If you have a front wheel drive car (most cars today are front wheel drive unless otherwise specified) it’s unlikely that your instinct will be right.

Steer your car in the direction the rear of the vehicle is sliding. Remember that a small slide requires only a small steering motion, while a bigger slide requires a bigger steer.

Don’t steer too far!

If you oversteer and the back of your vehicle swings back the other way, change your steering accordingly until your car straightens out. If you steer the wrong way and allow the car to continue skidding in one direction, it’s likely that your car will spin in a complete circle until it hits something and stops.

Avoid sliding if you can.

The best way to stay safe is to avoid a slide in the first place. If you must drive on icy roads, quality winter tires and driving slower than usual, especially around curves, will keep you safer.

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