Whoa Nelly!

Vehicle Control and Recovery

Driving too fast for road and weather conditions can result in loss of car control. In today’s blog we will discuss what to do should you hydroplane or have a fishtail skid.

Hydroplaning occurs when you travel too fast on a wet road causing water to build up between your tires and the road. When you lose contact with the road you no longer have control of the car.

When you begin to hydroplane, do not slam on the brakes. Take your foot off the accelerator to gradually slow down, allowing your tires to regain contact with the road and restore vehicle control. Abrupt actions, like braking or yanking the steering wheel, can make the skid worse by putting your car into a spin.

A fishtailing skid is when the rear end of your car begins to slide back and forth because your back wheels lose traction with the ground. If you encounter a fishtailing skid you should:

  1. Take your foot of the gas pedal.
  2. Remain calm and keep a firm, steady grip on the steering wheel.
  3. Turn the steering wheel in the direction you want your vehicle to go.
  4. Try steering only enough to stop the skid, but you may need to counter-steer until you have regained control of the car.

Also, in both situations, if you are driving a car with manual transmission, the clutch should be disengaged when you take your foot off the accelerator.