WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CAR STARTS TO SKID

What should you do if your car starts to skid? You’ve probably heard someone say, “Steer into the skid.” But what does that mean? It can be incredibly disorienting and frightening to lose control of your vehicle in this way. Skidding could result in an accident with injuries to you or other drivers.

Who is at fault when an accident results from skidding? Our Colorado car accident lawyers want you to understand skidding and what it means when there’s an accident.

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Table of contents

What Is Skidding on the Road?

When you lose control of steering, the vehicle may start to skid on the road. Skidding is a loss of traction in which a car slides without rotating. Skidding is a type of loss of control of a vehicle.

What Causes Skidding?

Skidding on the road may be caused by several factors. Driver error or failing to drive safely is usually a contributing factor:

  • Hard braking – Braking too hard can lock up your wheels and prevent them from gripping the road
  • Oversteering – Your wheels can only turn so much, so fast. Turn too hard can make tires lose their grip
  • Accelerating – Accelerating too quickly can cause wheels to spin
  • Speed – Drivers are speeding and underestimate road conditions

Skidding can also occur due to poor road conditions. Rain, ice, and other environmental factors during winter driving can all increase the risk of skidding on the road. In addition, lack of adequate tire tread depth can contribute to skidding accidents.

What Is Hydroplaning?

A driver will start to hydroplane when the car slides on wet road surfaces, and the driver loses control. Hydroplaning occurs when the tires do not grip the road surface and instead contact the thin layer of water covering the road.

Why Is Hydroplaning Dangerous?

Hydroplaning is dangerous because it inhibits driver control. It is more difficult to steer and stop a hydroplaning vehicle because it is not in direct contact with the road. You can avoid hydroplaning by driving with caution and ensuring your vehicle is prepared for road conditions.

What Should You Do if You Hydroplane?

If you hydroplane while driving, don’t slam on your brakes—but stop accelerating. Turn your steering wheel in the direction your car is traveling. That helps regain control and even out the vehicle. When you brake, use a pumping action, or if you have anti-lock brakes, apply them normally. Once you recover, calm down before continuing your journey.

What Should You Do If Your Vehicle Is Skidding?

If you’re driving and your car starts to skid on the road, you should follow these steps to try and regain control of your vehicle and stay safe:

  1. Take your feet off the pedals. Don’t brake, and don’t accelerate.
  2. Turn the steering wheel in the direction you want to go.
  3. As the vehicle turns back, steer in the other direction to stop turning and return to your path of travel.
  4. Don’t jerk the steering wheel! You don’t want to overcorrect. That could cause the car to fishtail.

However, depending on road conditions and why your car started to skid, you may want to remember condition-specific tips as well.

What To Do If Your Car Skids in the Rain?

If your car skids when the roads are wet, don’t slam on the brakes. Take your foot off the gas. Turn your car in the direction you want to go. Once you regain control, return to the path of travel. Also, prevent hydroplaning by preparing your vehicle for wet road conditions and driving in the rain carefully.

How To Stop Your Car From Sliding on Ice?

If your car starts sliding on icy roads or hits a patch of ice, take your foot off the accelerator. Turn your wheel in the direction that the vehicle is sliding—if the rear of the vehicle is sliding right, turn the steering wheel to the right. Avoid overcorrecting your steering. As the car straightens out, return your steering wheel to the center.

What Traffic Tickets Apply to Accidents Because of Skidding?

Law enforcement may issue the following tickets for a skidding vehicle:

Who Is at Fault if You Are in a Car Accident Because of Skidding?

If you are in a skidding car accident, the driver of the skidding vehicle is usually primarily at fault. They probably drove their car too fast. They may even be responsible for failing to react correctly after their vehicle started to skid.

However, when a car starts to skid, the vehicle behind in the same lane of travel may not be able to react in time. Even though they didn’t cause the skid, the driver in the back should have left enough room in front of them to stop in the assured, clear distance ahead. If a two-vehicle crash occurs because they were not able to stop before impact, both parties may have some fault for the accident.

Lawyers for Car Accidents Involving Skidding in Colorado

Have you been in a skidding accident? Our lawyers can evaluate fault and help you fight for your legal rights. Contact our Colorado car accident attorneys today to review your claim.

Sources:

1C.R.S. 42-4-1101

2C.R.S. 42-4-1402

3C.R.S. 42-4-1401

4C.R.S. 42-4-1105

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