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Holding Icon How to Correct a Skid

How to Correct a Skid

SAS survival expert, John 'Lofty' Wiseman

Skidding is more likely to occur when there is water, ice or snow on the road. However, it is important to remember that most skids are avoidable. A car will usually only skid if it is being driven at an inappropriate speed for the conditions or provoked by aggressive steering, braking or acceleration.

If you think there is an increased risk of skidding you should:

  • Slow Down
    Drive only as quickly as the road conditions permit and allow more time for your journey.
  • Allow More Stopping Distance
    Ice and snow can increase your stopping distance by up to ten times.
  • Use Smooth Inputs
    When steering, accelerating and braking keep the movements smooth to remain in control. Take extra care when approaching bends and junctions.
  • Use A High A Gear
    Driving in a higher gear helps you avoid hard acceleration and minimises wheel spin.

If, despite your best efforts, the car does begin to skid, remain calm and remember two basic rules:

  1. Lift your foot off the accelerator and allow engine braking to slow you down smoothly and tyres to regain grip.
  2. If your car is front-wheel drive it's important to keep the wheels in the direction of travel. However, with a rear-wheel drive car you need to steer into the direction of the skid. (For example, if the rear of the car skids to the left, steer quickly and smoothly to the left.)

Survival Tip

Be aware of your surroundings - in low grip conditions your steering may start to feel lighter than usual and tyre noise may decrease. (Lofty)

Winter Survival Guide

Download the complete guide

Winter Survival Guide cover


Amid falling temperatures and rising levels of concern among drivers, Halfords Autocentres has worked with renowned survival expert, former SAS Sergeant Major and author of the best-selling SAS Survival Handbook John 'Lofty' Wiseman to create the ultimate Motoring Survival Guide.

Download the complete guide or read on for more winter survival advice.