How to stop your car from skidding

Lesson Type
Last updated: 12 Nov 2019

Bad weather conditions can increase the chance of your car skidding, but you can also lose control when you drive too fast on a sunny day. Follow our tips to reduce the risk of your car skidding.

Bad weather

If a severe weather warning is issued, you must not drive unless your journey is absolutely essential. If you're still learning, that means your driving lessons are likely to be postponed until better weather arrives. But if you've passed your test and you have to drive, follow these tips to stop your car skidding:

  • Always drive carefully, because icy or wet surfaces reduce your grip on the road. When the road is icy or covered in snow, drive slowly in the highest gear possible.

  • Keep a much bigger distance between yourself and other vehicles, allow at least 8 seconds for breaking.

  • Watch out for grit or stones being thrown out of vehicles in front of you. There might also be snow ploughs about — as they clear snow, it will spurt out from the sides.

  • Accelerate and brake very gently. If you brake too sharply, your car will skid. Check how well you grip the road’s surface by breaking gently in a safe place.

  • Be aware that road conditions could change during your journey.

If your car starts to skid…

Even if you’re driving very carefully, your car could skid. If your car starts skidding, keep calm, release the brake pedal fully and ease off the accelerator. Point your car towards where you want to go, then continue to steer towards that point. If your vehicle skids towards the right, steer to the right in order to regain control. Always keep your hands on the steering wheel.

Snow chains and snow socks

To stay safe and reduce the chance of your car skidding, you could invest in snow chains or snow socks for your car. Snow chains are legal on UK roads, as long as you are driving in an area where there is a significant amount of snow on the road. If there is too little snow or ice, the snow chains can damage the road’s surface.

Snow socks are lighter than snow chains. They are covers which fit your tyres and give you extra grip on snow. Unlike snow chains, snow socks do not cause as much damage to the roads. Choose snow socks which have a good grip and are durable. For more information on snow socks and snow chains, check out Halfords, they will even fit them for you.

Hot weather can also cause your car to skid

Many people are not aware, but hot weather can cause a road’s surface to soften, making it slippery. Drive extra carefully on a hot day to stop your car skidding.

Image via mroach.