Posts Tagged 8 Inches of Snow

What To Do If Your Car Skids Out of Control

Image of a skidding automobile in Japan

Credit: https://carfromjapan.com/article/driving-tips/a-simple-way-to-do-a-burnout-in-an-automatic-transmission-car/

Your car goes into a skid when there isn’t enough friction between the tire and road. I discovered that for myself, at my first driving experience.

My first “on the road” driver’s training was terrifying.  I did okay at first – but, then I had to enter a big turn on a highway. No one had warned me that I needed to slow down to do that.

I was driving too fast for the turn and the driving instructor’s car went into a sharp spin as I sped out of the sharp curve of the road. Super scary!

Luckily for the driving instructor, his car, my own life, my future children and grandchildren’s life and the Others on the road – he had the type of car that could take control of my driving at any time. He had his own driving wheel and everything.

Your car can skid when driving in wet or icy conditions, black ice, snow, when you stop suddenly, or you enter a turn at a high speed.

 

Here are a few tips for preventing skids:

  1. Make sure your tires have adequate treads. Tires are made with a “wear bar” in the treads. If the level of the tire reaches the level of the “wear bar” – it’s time to get new tires. You can also check your tires by inserting a penny into the tread upside-down. The head of Lincoln should be at least partially covered.
  1. Drive slowly in wet, icy, or snowy conditions.
  1. Keep a good distance between you and the car ahead of you. They recommend about four car lengths for every ten miles per hour. If you are travelling 40 miles per hour, keep 16 car lengths between cars. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to react if the driver in front of you stops. You can definitely skid if you stop too quickly.
  1. Slow down before entering a curve or bend. Taking a curve too quickly or braking suddenly while going around a bend can cause skids.

 

TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF SKIDS

 

Front Wheel Skids:

A front-wheel skid happens – when the whole car starts to slide in the wrong direction. This type of skid is when you go into a curve too quickly.

If your car enters a front-wheel skid, ease off the accelerator. With your eyes focused on where you’re supposed to drive, try to steer the car back on course. If you don’t regain control of the car within two to three seconds, THEN depress the brake lightly. If your car doesn’t have anti-lock (ABS) brakes, pump the brakes lightly.

Braking will help to transfer power to the front of the car.  Don’t press those brakes too fast. This will make your wheels lock and you’ll skid all the more. Slow and steady is the rule here.

 

Rear Wheel Skids:

A rear wheel skid happens – when the back end of the car slides out of control, either to the left or the right. They also call this “fishtailing”.  I’ve done this, too.

Some people will tell you to “turn into the skid.”  Hmm – maybe. If the back end of your car slides out to the right – don’t turn sharply, especially if you’re driving at a high speed. Only turn towards the right enough to straighten out the car and bring the front wheels back in line with the rear wheels.

Slowly ease off the accelerator. Avoid the temptation to brake suddenly. Slow and steady is the rule here, too.

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The most important thing to remember is not to panic. You need to keep calm if you go into a skid, because your “instinctive” reactions are likely to do more harm than good.

Also, keep your eyes focused on a target in the distance. Choose a point further down the road, in the direction where you need to be headed.  Stay focused on this object. With this target in view, you’ll be better able to redirect your car so that it is once again traveling in the right direction.

 

Call our office if you’ve been injured because someone drove their car out of control and crashed into you.

Image of a skidding automobile in Japan



We Will Fight For You!


Call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.

 

 

 

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

A car lands vertically into a snowbank on Interstate 93 during a snow storm north of Salem, New Hampshire.

Credit: https://www.theguardian.com/weather/gallery/2011/feb/02/winter-storms-us-in-pictures#img-5

Yeah, we hit the big one this time! I’m talking at least eight inches of snow in West Texas this past week. Schools were closed and so were many businesses.  Even businesses that wanted to remain open – struggled for lack of employees that were willing to risk driving in the snow.

 

Driving is treacherous in West Texas – even on sunny days. When you add all that snow and drivers that don’t know how to drive in harsh conditions – that makes it all the more dangerous.

 

I lived in one of the Northern states for more than thirty years.  Eight inches of snow is not that big of a deal there.

First off, the state and county Departments of Transportation send out powerful snowblowers to clear the snow that accumulates. Then, they distribute sand – mixed with salt to make the roads less slippery.

It helps quite a bit.  A study made in 1992, found that putting salt on the roads can reduce car accidents by 87 percent both during and after a snowstorm.

 

Second of all, people are used to driving in the snow for six months of the year.  Slow and steady will get you there safely.  We avoid braking as much as possible.  And, we pump the brakes slowly – if we do have to stop.  We keep an eye out for any possible actions that we might need to brake for.

 

I’ve landed in the ditch a few times because I’ve slammed on my brakes.  Unless one is an adrenaline junkie, that is not a good feeling.  Ugh. Teens need to be specifically taught how to drive in the snow. Teen boys think it’s fun to go fast and then slam on the brakes to see what will happen.  Nothing good comes of that experience.

 

Third, if one does start to skid on the slippery road, turn in the direction of the skid.  This is actually difficult to do.  We have a natural tendency to want to turn in the opposite direction.  You wouldn’t want to turn sharply, as that will make things worse. I can cover that in my next newsletter.

 

Final Point:
The Department of Transportation had closed some of the roads for this snowfall. It’s against the law to drive around the barricades.

I knew that it was a bad idea, but I didn’t realize that it’s also a Class B misdemeanor. This is the same as a DWI. If caught, you might be arrested, have your car impounded, or spend up to 180 days in jail and/or be fined up to $2000. You could also be charged for the cost of your rescue.

The powers-that-be only close the roads when they are not safe for driving. Don’t be foolish and think that you are “special” and will avoid a disaster.  You won’t.

 

This was the most snowfall that Odessa and Midland has seen in the last five years.  If you were injured because someone accidentally rammed into you – you should call our office for advice.

 


We Will Fight For You!


Call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.