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How to Recover From Loss of Traction


Understand that the process for recovering from a skid is the same for cars with front- or rear-wheel drive.


Maintain eye contact with a safe area where you want your vehicle to go.


Take your foot off both the gas and brake pedals immediately.


Shift to neutral, whether driving a manual or automatic transmission.


Wait, if your front tires are the ones sliding. The friction of the slide will slow the car until traction is restored.


Turn smoothly into the direction you want the car to go, if your rear wheels are the ones skidding.

Tips and Warnings

  • This will work in most any vehicle on many surfaces.
  • Always be prepared for the surface to be at its worst in the next 100 feet of your driving path.
  • Do not slam on the brakes. Locked, sliding tires have no directional control. Vehicles with ABS (Antilock Braking System) brakes can, in most situations, step lightly and keep constant pressure on the brake pedal.

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