It has been a pleasant winter here in the south. But those days are long gone and now we are facing the dangers of icy driving. Since I started driving, the information taught about what to do if you begin to skid out of control has changed. Probably due to front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive and anti-lock brakes. So now, do you steer into the skid, away from the skid, or should you just steer in the direction that you want to be going? My Uncle just skidded out of control and now he’s in rehab. Not hospital rehab, but alcohol rehab. The crazy thing is, my Uncle taught me how to drive. I was taught by a drunk driver. He taught me how to weave and drift across three lanes. And I’m really good at it. It’s in my genes, I suppose.
Now, with freezing rain and bad road conditions, here’s some great information about what to do if your car is caught in a skid. Even if the roads just look snowy, there may be ice under the snow. Or maybe even black ice.
- Don’t jam on the brakes. Our first reaction, in a panic, may be to try to stop the car by hitting the brakes.
- And don’t jerk the wheel. This would make a bad situation even worse.
- Skip happy hour after work. Everyone else out there is going to be driving like they’re drunk. Don’t add to the mix.
So, here’s what to do if your vehicle begins to skid out of control:
Get off the brake, get off the accelerator, straighten the wheel and ride the skid out. It goes against what your instincts would tell you to do. But you’ll get better control of the vehicle and be able to steer around objects, rather than crashing into them. Always think ahead and anticipate the worst because it could happen to YOU.
Also, remember to drive with your eyes, not with your seat. In other words, don’t wait until you “feel” the car sliding underneath you. “Look” for what’s happening in front of you and around your vehicle for other cars and objects that may come into your path.
The best thing you can do to keep safe if you are uncomfortable driving in bad weather conditions is to just stay put until the city can get the roads winterized. If that’s not possible, remember to leave early and drive slower than the suggested speed limit. There will likely other cars speeding past you, honking at you and giving you the finger (that’s what the sunroof is for…and if you can drive with your knees, you can flip people off with both hands). Just let it go. You’ll likely see them in a ditch, further up. So, you win. Then you can wave at them with one, or all five fingers when you pass them.
Until next week…
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
The Dangers of Icy Driving – Comedy Defensive Driving