There is a season
And a time to every purpose
— Pete Seeger (“Turn! Turn! Turn!”)
It’s embarrassing to admit, but we really wish we had no customers. We would happily find a new line of work if their cars were, miraculously, no longer subject to dents, dings, and more serious damage. Regrettably, despite drivers’ best efforts and all the high-tech anti-collision gadgetry built into today’s automobiles, they still get involved in fender benders, sideswipes, smashups, and other types of accidents. And these accidents occur at all times of year. Every season has its special road hazards that drivers should be aware of. These include, for example:
- Spring: newly active animals, a flurry of bicyclists on the road, sudden hailstorms, and unexpected potholes
- Summer: busy construction zones, tire blowouts due to heat, more motorcyclists on the road, and sun glare
- Fall: increased driving in the dark, more deer out during mating season, and pockets of fog and frost
And then there’s Winter, when drivers have to deal with too-low tire pressure due to cold temperatures, corrosive damage to the undercarriage of the car from salt and sand, dead batteries, and of course the occasional whiteout. By far the biggest cause of accidents in wintertime, however, is due to slippery road conditions. A layer of snow or ice on the roadway—or worse yet, ice covered by snow—poses a significant challenge to even the most skilled and experienced driver if it puts his/her vehicle into an uncontrolled skid.
Of course, the best way to recover from a skid is to avoid getting into it in the first place. First and foremost, make sure the vehicle is properly equipped for winter, particularly in regard to the state of the tires. Balding tires with worn tread don’t stand a chance on an icy patch. Beyond that, the precautions a prudent driver must take to avoid going into a skid all come down to moderating one’s normal driving habits for the conditions of the road and the season. That means:
- Don’t drive too fast.
- Don’t accelerate too fast.
- Don’t brake too fast.
- Don’t change directions too sharply.
- Always slow down at curves and turns.
- And refuse to magically believe your state-of-the-art truck or SUV is somehow immune to skids—it isn’t!
Yet despite all these precautions, inevitably you may find yourself at some point skidding in a direction you do not want to go. The infographic below provides some tips on how to safely recover from the skid—back in control and accident-free.
(Click on this image to download a printable PDF of our “5 Steps to Recover from a Skid” infographic.)