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Old 10th October 2007, 13:32   #1
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Default How can we drive out safely from a skid?

Will somebody take the trouble of educating us on how to manage a skid? Most of us own front-wheel drive cars.
I'd read in the Reader's Digest about 25 years ago that one should brake before entering a sharp turn (not during), and accelerate while pulling out of the curve. In case of skidding, it advised us to stop braking and accelerate in the direction of the skid to bring the car under control. Since I did not own a car then, I am not sure if it applied to FWD cars or rear wheel ones.
This apart, in a recent dvd released by Autocar, I heard the commentator stating that ' you must have been told by your driving instructor that one should either be accelerating or braking, but not coasting'. Can anyone throw some light into this too?
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Old 10th October 2007, 13:36   #2
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If you are in a slide on a FWD best way to get out of it is to ACCELERATE. Most often than not people brake causing weight transfer to the front because of which the rear end spins out. By accelerating you are putting weight on the rear end of the car and hence you will be able to gain control.
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Old 10th October 2007, 13:42   #3
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ABS helps!!!

Skid during Acceleration: Lift the foot off from accelerator. Usually, the car starts behaving. You may want to brake a little bit - not hard. If you have ABS, hit the brakes and steer to safety.

Skid while braking: ABS is the perfect solution. Wheels don't lock up with ABS, and steering is available for vehicle control.

Of course, these are under "normal" road driving conditions, including driving on curvy roads.

Driving in a rally / race is beyond my comprehension.
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Old 10th October 2007, 13:45   #4
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Ok... lets take a regular example. Have you driven on the road from Hi-tech city to Durgam Cheruvu? After you cross the i-Labs building the road declines sharply and then while declining it also takes a sharp bend, almost a hairpin. A perfect place to experience driving on such terrains. If you approach the decline at around 50 and then start taking the bend you will feel the tail is trying to step out of the line. Anything around 60 or more the car appears more jittery and in fact with light cars one feels the tail is soon going to try overtaking the front (the rear skidding).

I do that stretch everyday. My practice on this stretch is to approach at a good speed (mainly because i maintain the speed at which I reach the decline from the plain but high road). As soon as the nose points down (we are on the decline) I drop the speed, basically leave the accelerator. As the sharp bend comes in my brakes get down to work. By the time I am about 90% through with the bend and the feeling of the rear-skid is gone the speed has gone down to around 40. This is when I get on the accelerator with a renewed vigour. The speedo starts climbing and the car immediately starts sprinting and completes the stretch and reaches the flat road with confidence.

This is the best way to do it IMO as I have tried this earlier as well on several such places where the road is on a decline and is also banking. Works everytime. At the crucial point you have to be on the brakes but as you are pulling out you need to get back on the accelerator.
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Old 10th October 2007, 13:45   #5
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Opposite steering lock should help too
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Old 10th October 2007, 14:30   #6
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The best way to recover is not to be in that situation

Skid occurs when wheel loses traction. This can be either on snow or aquaplanning.

Wikipedia has an excellent article
Hydroplaning (road vehicle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Since, in India, we are unlikely to drive over snow, we need to be more careful in wet places. First rule of thumb, drive slowly - chance of skidding greatly increases with speed.
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Old 10th October 2007, 14:39   #7
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Once the car starts skidding, it is advisable to turn the Steering in the direction of the skid and not to press the brakes hard. I am not sure about the "accelerate part".

Last edited by Aditya : 10th October 2007 at 19:45.
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Old 10th October 2007, 16:09   #8
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Thanks guys, for your prompt responses.
Zappo, I used the same technique as yours at the same spot, when I used to work in that area.
However, though I never skidded so far, I do recall a horrid experience in my school days when we were returning to Cuttack from Calcutta on NH5. It was raining and the driver suddenly had to veer to avoid a pothole, and as a result, the car skidded. Not sure what he did, but the car ended up hitting a bush on the road side after doing a 180 degree turn! It was an Amby--a rear wheel drive car.
I also read in this forum about the near death experience a member had with a Swift. Both the above cases are similar to aquaplaning.
So if you are in that horrible situation, would acclerating in the direction of skid work, for a front wheel drive car? I've read in the Swift thread that the theory does not hold good for FWD cars.
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Old 10th October 2007, 17:03   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Thanks guys, for your prompt responses.
Zappo, I used the same technique as yours at the same spot, when I used to work in that area.
However, though I never skidded so far, I do recall a horrid experience in my school days when we were returning to Cuttack from Calcutta on NH5. It was raining and the driver suddenly had to veer to avoid a pothole, and as a result, the car skidded. Not sure what he did, but the car ended up hitting a bush on the road side after doing a 180 degree turn! It was an Amby--a rear wheel drive car.
I also read in this forum about the near death experience a member had with a Swift. Both the above cases are similar to aquaplaning.
So if you are in that horrible situation, would acclerating in the direction of skid work, for a front wheel drive car? I've read in the Swift thread that the theory does not hold good for FWD cars.
No no no... no one is suggesting you to accelerate in the direction of skid By god... as it is a skid means you are going out of line, probably in a wrong lane or worse still towards the edge of the road on a mountain and if you start accelerating in that same direction, well, you do not want to do that for sure.

What I said was how to control the car from going into a skid. It was a preventive thing. And prevention is always better than cure. To prevent going into a skid you
* start braking before that sharp turn (that has the potential to cause the rear to go out of line).
* start accelerating when you are coming out of the turn (successful turn, no skid).


However if you find yourself already in a skid you should
* Keep applying the brakes. This is like reigning in the wild horses to some extent.
* Give a reverse lock to your steering. Say, its a sharp left banking. Your car's rear goes out of line while banking. That means while banking left your rear has started going to the right. This happens as the rear wants to keep going straight, in the direction it was moving till you turned the steering to turn the car. At this stage release the steering and let it straighten and then turn it in the reverse direction, that is the right direction and lock it... Your car will fall in line. Don't overdo it though. As soon as the rear feels like having straightened up let the steering come back to its center position. If you were also applying brakes by now your speed would have also dropped down to manageable limits.

Hope that clears it?

Last edited by Zappo : 10th October 2007 at 17:10.
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Old 10th October 2007, 17:17   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Thanks guys, for your prompt responses.
Zappo, I used the same technique as yours at the same spot, when I used to work in that area.
However, though I never skidded so far, I do recall a horrid experience in my school days when we were returning to Cuttack from Calcutta on NH5. It was raining and the driver suddenly had to veer to avoid a pothole, and as a result, the car skidded. Not sure what he did, but the car ended up hitting a bush on the road side after doing a 180 degree turn! It was an Amby--a rear wheel drive car.
I also read in this forum about the near death experience a member had with a Swift. Both the above cases are similar to aquaplaning.
So if you are in that horrible situation, would acclerating in the direction of skid work, for a front wheel drive car? I've read in the Swift thread that the theory does not hold good for FWD cars.

as mclaren has mentioned, you should not brake as it will further shift weight to the front and the rear will lose traction even more. the best option IMO is to rotate the steering in the direction of the skid and wait for the car to come to a halt. but if there is a cliff and you want to save your life then there is no other option but to press the accelerator and hope that the traction comes back and as soon as you feel the traction coming back you have to straighten the car. I had once faced a very bad skid while going downhill in Sikkim in an alto with 4 people on board. I was skidding straight in the direction of a truck coming uphill. I saved it somehow but dont remember what I did to come out of the situation. It is good to know the theory but at the point of application it has to come naturally and for that a lot of practice is needed. another problem is that whenever I drive the alto after driving my baleno for a few days I tend to skid several times initially as the brakes in alto are so much boosted for a small car IMO.
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Old 10th October 2007, 17:37   #11
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Thanks Zappo---that sums it up nicely.
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Old 10th October 2007, 17:53   #12
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Remember this: "ITS MUCH EASIER TO AVOID A SKID THAN CORRECT ONE"
So always avoid a speed that itself is excessive or braking harshly or heavy acceleration or steer hard. Keep to the road condition, if the roads wet always double ur normal turning radius to a corner, avoid any sort of harsh braking while entering a corner.
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Old 10th October 2007, 18:45   #13
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There are two kinds of skid possible, namely understeer and oversteer. FWD cars are designed to understeer before they can oversteer. An oversteer in a FWD car will happen only rarely, in extreme conditions. Say, the rear tyres are much more worn out in comparison to the front, or if the owner has incorrectly modified the car, if road conditions are unusually slippery (e.g. mud or oil spillage), excessive speeds while cornering, etc.

If a FWD car understeers into a curve (meaning front wheels have lost traction) then you lose the ability to steer and the front of the car will tend to go out of the curve. Solution is to lift foot off the throttle and brake as necessary, steer in the direction you want to go in and as front wheels regain traction, accelerate out of the turn.

If a FWD car oversteers into a corner, meaning rear wheels have lost traction, then the situation is slightly more complicated. The oversteer could have happened due to excessive speeds, and the solution then is to slow down. Do not brake hard; brake lightly only if necessary, to keep the car from going off the road. Slowing down does have the undesirable effect of transferring weight to the front wheels (meaning still less traction for rear wheels), but at the same time, the sideways force causing the oversteer will also decrease, which is desirable. Always steer in the direction you want to go in. Accelerate out of the turn once the rear wheels get some traction and the car is pointed in the right direction.

In case of oversteer, if you apply opposite lock aggressively and accelerate at the same time, you may find the car suddenly turning the other way as the rear wheels get traction and fishtailing will occur. One has to be prepared to make quick steering corrections before fishtailing can occur in an FWD oversteer situation. If you don't slow down adequately and accelerate into the turn, there is a danger of the car skidding off the road before the rear wheels can get traction.

Last edited by rks : 10th October 2007 at 18:50.
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Old 10th October 2007, 19:03   #14
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WHEW .... those were some great tips but guys how many of you have actually gone into a skid and then applied these formula's that you have described so well . ..

All I can say is that all this theory looks good and sounds good but won't come into play when you in a real situation and you only have a fraction of a second to decide what needs to be done . The only way out in such a situtaion is if you keep practising and it becomes second nature to -- i mean controlling a skid !! The way you automatically press brakes , down shift , etc etc .... controlling a skid is also just another habit so stop listening to theory and go out there , find yourself an empty parking lot and start practising .

All this gyaan is just gyaan for reading and nothing more .... !!
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Old 10th October 2007, 19:31   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
I saved it somehow but dont remember what I did to come out of the situation. It is good to know the theory but at the point of application it has to come naturally and for that a lot of practice is needed.
I know what you mean dude. I've had a couple of close shaves, but managed to get out of them in good nick. I did whatever came to me instinctively at that fraction of a second, and don't remember exactly what I did. And to be honest, I was too shaken up to sit and analyze the events in retrospect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khaadu75 View Post
All I can say is that all this theory looks good and sounds good but won't come into play when you in a real situation and you only have a fraction of a second to decide what needs to be done . The only way out in such a situtaion is if you keep practising and it becomes second nature to -- i mean controlling a skid !!
Agreed 100%. But I don't think too many folks would want to practice skidding around too much
No harm knowing the theory... whether you can apply it or not is up to you!
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