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What To Do If You Lose Control of Your Car

Slippery road sign The number one cause of drivers losing control of their vehicles is poor weather conditions. Rain, especially after a long dry spell, can make roads dangerous. But weather isn’t the only reason drivers lose control of their cars. Brake failure, faulty steering rods and other mechanical problems can also cause loss of control.

It’s frightening and dangerous to lose control of your car. What should you do? Here’s some tips for the road.

Tips for Regaining Control of the Car

Tip Number 1: Don’t Panic

It’s easier said than done, but if you lose control of your car for any reason, don’t panic. You have options to regain control. Think about those options, not about your fear.

Tip Number 2: Don’t Brake Hard to Regain Control

Roads can be dangerous in rain, especially if it’s just started to rain or is raining heavily. Hydroplaning refers to a car’s tires losing traction due to wetness on the road. Cars can also skid or become out of control even if they’re not hydroplaning. The natural human reaction if your car is skidding or hydroplaning is to slam on the brakes to slow down or stop the car. Don’t do this! It can cause your car to skid even more dangerously or hydroplane more.

Instead, apply gentle brake pressure for just a second or two, then take your foot off the brake. Then do it again. You want to stop very slowly, and you don’t want steady pressure on the brake.

Tip Number 3: Don’t Accelerate

Strange as it may so

und, some drivers panic and hit the gas pedal when they skid or hydroplane. It’s accidental, but some part of their brain is aiming for the same area as the brake. Don’t accelerate an already out-of-control car, ever.

Tip Number 4: Steer in the Opposite Direction Slowly

If you’re skidding, you want to steer out of it slowly. Move the steering wheel in the direction you need to go, but don’t do it hard. Turning your wheel hard intensifies the correction and can cause you to skid in the opposite direction.

Tip No. 5: Use the Emergency Brake

The other reason a car might be out of control is brake failure. You tape the brakes and there’s no response. Generally, this will only happen if the car has run out of brake fluid or the brake pads are worn.

The answer is to use the emergency brake. This is clearly not ideal, but it’s better than running into another car, a person, or running through an intersection.

Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles?

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car crash in southern California, we can help. Ellis Injury Law has more than two decades of experience in car accident law. Contact an experienced Los Angeles auto accident attorney today at 1-800-INJURED for a consultation at no cost to you.

More information on what to do if you lose control of your car:

  1. Allstate Insurance. You Lost Control of Your Car in Bad Weather. Now What? March 15, 2012. https://blog.allstate.com/you-lost-control-of-your-car-in-bad-weather-now-what/
  2. Lampton, Christopher. How Do You Stop an Out-of-Control Car? How Stuff Works. https://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/accidents-hazardous-conditions/stop-out-of-control-car.htm