December 30 2015

Your Car Starts to Slide on Snow or Ice, What Do You Do Next?

By: Rich Hosford

Now that winter has arrived and brought with it some nasty weather, including some freezing rain, we are likely in for a few months where driving conditions can deteriorate at any time. 


One of the worst parts of driving in snow or on icy roads is the possibility of skidding out of control. It can happen fast and even experienced drivers may panic and do the wrong thing when they suddenly lose complete control of their vehicles. 


The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has some tips of what to do if your car starts to skid on a slippery surface. 


The first thing may sound counterintuitive but it’s important. Don’t hit the brakes. Locking up the wheels will likely just cause the vehicle to continue sliding. Instead slowly remove your foot from the gas pedal and, if you can, shift into neutral. 


Secondly turn your steering wheel in the direction of the skid. If your rear tires are skidding to the left, turn your steering wheel left. If they are sliding right, steer right. You may need to steer left and right a few times until you get your car completely under control. 


So that’s it. It isn’t difficult but when the skidding happens suddenly it can cause panic and make a driver forget what to do. One thing drivers, especially new ones, can do is to practice in a vacant parking lot after a snow or ice event. 

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