When you’re driving in poor weather conditions, one issue you have to think about is the risk of fishtailing. Fishtailing is when the back half of the vehicle begins to swing back and forth. It has the potential to lead to your vehicle spinning out of its lane, off the road or into another vehicle.
If a driver loses control of their vehicle, others who are impacted by them may have a case against them for compensation. It’s expected that all drivers understand the risks of being on the road and are prepared to handle their vehicle in poor conditions. If they do not handle their vehicle properly, then it’s possible to be held accountable for any damages caused.
Why do cars fishtail?
Fishtailing happens because of many factors from ice on the roads to oil slicks reducing friction. Fishtailing is most likely to happen if you make a sudden turn, speed or hit a patch of water, ice or gravel with the rear wheels. Front-wheel drive vehicles are more likely to fishtail, since the rear wheels don’t have their own power.
The four main factors that lead to fishtailing include:
- The kind of tires you’re using and if they have tread
- How quickly you’re driving
- The condition of the surface of the road
- The weight and overall size of your vehicle
Drivers should know how to steer out of a fishtail. Doing this correctly can help a driver gain control over their vehicle quickly and prevent crashes.
Slowly ease off your accelerator, and turn your wheel in the direction of the skid. Intuitively, most people want to steer the other direction, but you shouldn’t. Do not quickly brake. However, since most vehicles now have anti-lock brakes, it’s a good idea to use those. Press them down until your vehicle stops skidding. For vehicles without ABS, use a pumping motion to slow your vehicle.
Fishtails don’t have to happen
Fishtailing does not need to happen. Drivers need to be aware of the road conditions and slow down to avoid them. If one happens and impacts your vehicle, you may have a claim against the at-fault driver.