You Oversteer Off Of The Highway Shoulder

Almost all highways have shoulders.  There is a shoulder on both the right and left side.  It's called the shoulder as it's off of the paved portion of the roadway.  The shoulder is soft, i.e., not paved.  The shoulder is usually composed of gravel, dirt, loose sand, or grass.

When a driver's car goes off the paved part of the roadway, whether the left or right side, the wheels on that side will be riding on the shoulder and, therefore, he usually panics and oversteers to get back on the paved part of the highway.  Panicking and oversteering usually causes an accident; many times causing the overturning of the car.

Most drivers feel that they have to get back onto the paved part immediately:  YOU DO NOT!  Have you ever driven on a dirt road?  Did you panic while driving on dirt roads?  Then why panic and oversteer when only two of your four wheels are running on dirt?  On two of the three occasions that I intentionally drove with two wheels on the shoulder.  1.  I drove from Northern Massachusetts to Newport, RI.  2.  I drove from the mountain town of Blackhawk to Aurora, CO on Hwy. 70.  Why?  In both instances the roads were nearly solidly iced over.  I drove with the right wheels on the shoulders because they were gravel which gave me much better traction.  On the third occasion, I was driving a U-Haul truck with no shocks.  The truck bounced so hard on the rough, paved road that I thought that the engine would fall out.  Driving with two wheels on the right shoulder, much of the way, which was much smoother, allowed, although slower, for a much smoother ride.  So, what do I do to avoid oversteering and causing me to overturn or cause an accident?

Keep the two wheels on the shoulder, take your foot off of the gas pedal, and apply the brakes gently to help slow the vehicle down gradually.  DO NOT jam on the brakes.  When the vehicle slows to a reasonable, slow speed, then gently steer back on the paved portion of the roadway.

CAUTION:  Not all shoulders are smoothly graded.  Some end at a bridge abutement, lead into a ditch, or have trees in them next to the roadway.  In these cases you'll have to do the maneuver much quicker, but it doesn't mean you have to panic and oversteer.

Also read my two recent articles on how to avoid accidents.