Urban Survival Day 56 – Get Out of a Skid

Posted: April 18, 2013 in Survival/Self Defense
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Today was one of the busiest days I’ve had at this job.  Couple that with last nights awful migraine and you can guess I’m fairly tired this evening.  I’ll be honest the blog wasn’t top priority today but keeping true to my word, here’s the next survival tip from the book Urban Survival Guide by Rich Johnson.

56)  Get Out of a Skid

Everyone who has driven for a while develops a sense of safety while behind the wheel.  We get into bad habits and think that we don’t need to be paying complete attention.  One thing that can wake up even the most comfortable drivers out there is losing control of your vehicle.  “The first sign of a skid may not come until you suddenly lose control and end up heading sideways down the highway.  To regain control, try this:”

  1. Avoid The Brakes:  You may be tempted to slam on the brakes as soon as you feel yourself losing control.  That’s natural because you want to slow the vehicle down.  Unfortunately, if the wheels are sliding across the pavement already, slamming on the brakes will only compound your problems.
  2. Turn The Wheel:  While it may not make sense at first, to recover from a skid you need to turn the wheel gently in the direction of the skid.  For example, if the back of your car starts sliding to the left, turn your wheels to the left.
  3. Use the Gas:  Another counter-intuitive concept when you’ve lost control of your vehicle is to use the accelerator.   You might want to slow the vehicle as quickly as possible, but lightly pushing the gas can help bring things under control.  This works because your wheels begin turning again and can start pulling your vehicle in the direction you want.  Just don’t go crazy because too much acceleration could cause you to skid even more.

I’ve been driving for 13 years now; 7 behind the wheel of a car and 6 before that when I raced go-karts.  In my opinion, the best thing anyone can do is get out there and drive.  Don’t be afraid to drive, but always be cautious.  Know what your vehicle is capable of as well as yourself.  I know that my car can handle snow (unless its really deep) and rain without any trouble but ice is a step too far.  I also know that I can recover fairly quickly if something happens.  However, even though I know I can react quickly, I know where my limits are.  I always try to avoid testing those limits when possible.  I’m always cautious and pay close attention while driving.  After all, like Tyrion Lannister, I believe there are far better ways to die than in a car accident . . .

The moral of my previous paragraph is this:  You can’t get comfortable driving unless you drive.  Practice makes perfect in every aspect of life, from guns to cars.  Recovering from a skid with little to no driving experience is probably highly unlikely.  And the odds of you remembering what you read here word for word and then applying it during a skid is even more unlikely . . .

  1. […] Urban Survival Day 56 – Get Out of a Skid […]

    • Josh says:

      You might want to clarify this, When you are saying that the skid is to the left, and to turn to the left, most novice drivers might not know you are referring the the back end of the car, and not the direction they are facing.

      Ex. You turn to the left when your back end skids out to the left, but the facing of the driver is turning to the right. This is what they mean by steering “into” the skid. You are correcting your heading.

      • Excellent point. I, just like the author, assumed it was clear as it was. But you’re right, if this is for new or inexperienced drivers it should be clarified. Thanks – updating the page now.

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