3 Things To Do If You Start Losing Control Of Your Vehicle
For many people, they don’t even have to be in a full-blown car accident to feel like they’ve had an emergency behind the wheel. Losing even part of your control when you’re driving a vehicle is enough to make any driver’s heart skip a beat.
So to help ensure that your minor loss of control doesn’t turn into a complete car accident that requires you to get your vehicle towed off the road, here are three things you should do if you start losing control of your vehicle.
Don’t Accelerate, But Don’t Jump On The Brakes Either
As soon as you start to feel like you’re losing control of your vehicle, the first and most important thing you should do is to take your foot off the gas. By beginning to slowly decelerate by stepping off the gas pedal, you’ll give your car a chance to slow down on its own and regain some of the control that you’ve lost.
Keep in mind, however, that while you’re taking your foot off the gas pedal, you don’t want to reapply it to the brake at the time of your loss of control. According to Andrei Zakhareuski, a contributor to Driving-Tests.org, braking suddenly can cause your car to go into even more of a slide and result in you losing further control.
Try Pumping Your Brakes
While braking suddenly can make your loss of control even more pronounced, there is a way to use your brakes that won’t typically make it harder for you to regain control of your vehicle.
According to Christopher Lampton, a contributor to How Stuff Works, the best way to use your brakes when you’re experiencing a loss of control is to pump your brakes. If you have anti-lock brakes, your car will automatically do this for you. But if your car doesn’t have ABS, you’ll want to step on and off your brakes to pump them on your own. By doing this, you will be able to regain traction on your wheels without locking up your brakes and disallowing yourself the chance to regain control.
How To Steer When Skidding
If you lose control of your vehicle due to a skid, be it on wet or icy roads, it’s important to know how to steer your vehicle out of this situation.
To help you with this, the California Department of Motor Vehicles advises that you always steer slightly into the direction that you’re skidding. By trying to correct your vehicle away from the skid, you could wind up overcorrecting, which could put you in even more danger. So unless you’re about to hit something head-on, it’s best to try to steer into the skid to reclaim some traction so that you can then have more control.
To help you protect yourself and others on the road, consider using the tips mentioned above if you ever lose control of your vehicle while you’re driving.