How To Prevent Car Skidding On UK Roads
How to Prevent Skidding in All Road Conditions
To prevent skidding, you first have to understand how a skid occurs. A skid happens when your vehicle is going too fast for lateral motion – that is, if it is being turned sharply when you’re moving quicker than you should be for the curve – or if you brake or steer in an aggressive fashion. You can also cause the vehicle to skid if you accelerate suddenly.
Road and weather conditions, particularly when it is wet or icy, can make a skid more likely. You should always remember, though, that skidding is almost always caused by poor operation of the vehicle. If you’re driving too fast for a wet road and you skid, it isn’t the road causing you to lose control – it’s your speed.
Being aware of weather and road conditions, and driving appropriately, is one of the best ways to prevent skidding due to lack of grip on the road surface. In icy or snowy conditions, you should drive with extreme care and much slower than normal. Assume that it will take you ten times as long as usual to stop; and never speed up or slow down aggressively. The golden rule for driving without skidding is never to suddenly change speed (either to accelerate or stop) or direction. You’re aiming for smooth, slow and careful.
Sometimes it is hard to tell whether the road conditions are slippery or icy simply by looking. Always be aware of general air temperature and weather conditions. If there is ice on the windscreens of parked cars, it’s likely there is also ice on the road.
Controlling a skid is a vital piece of driver manoeuvring. If you fail to prevent skidding, you’ll have to get out of the situation as safely as possible. First, take your foot off the accelerator. Never hit the brakes, this will make the skid much worse. Then wait for the tyres to grip (you’ll hear the noise change, or feel the grip come back). At this point, you can cautiously steer in the direction of the skid to realign the wheels. So if the back end slides to the right, you align the car by steering carefully to the right.
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