An essential guide to staying skid-free this winter

Covered mag, presented by
  • | by Kristian Dando
What would you do if your car was to skid in icy or wet conditions, other than panic? Research from the Sainsbury’s Finance suggests that 13.7 million drivers wouldn’t have a clue what to do if they were placed in this situation. But fear not! We’ve cobbled together this bumper pack of indispensible tips, which will help you avoid skids and stay safe on the road this winter...
  • Losing control of a car and feeling it slide can be highly unnerving – reduce your speed and get back on to a major route as soon as you can.
  • Driving slowly can go a long way to helping prevent a skid - don't brake or accelerate hastily, drop gears before applying brakes. As the old adage goes; “It’s better to arrive late than not at all.”
  • If you do skid, lift your foot gently off the accelerator, allowing your car to slow down smoothly and gently. Sudden movements and changes in speed are a recipe for nasty skids.
  • If you absolutely must carry on driving, drive in a higher gear than you usually do, which will help you avoid traction-sapping wheelspin.
  • If your steering wheel doesn’t respond when you turn it and the car continues to move forward, take your foot from the accelerator pedal, which will throw the weight balance of the car forwards and helps the tyres find grip.
  • Don’t let pushy fellow motorists influence your speed. If they want to drive around with reckless abandon, let them. Likewise, don’t tailgate the car in front of you – give them plenty of room.
  • Take care around lorries and larger vehicles – they may not be able to see you.
  • Cyclists and motorcyclists should be afforded more room, too.
  • Should you get stuck, stick your handbrake on and clear the area around the wheels. Find out whatever wheel is slipping, and apply some grit or salt around it, before using a higher gear than first to move away.

For more information on safe winter driving, take a look at this useful guide we published a few weeks ago....