Next comes skid management. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you start to slide. When that happens, we have all learned to "turn in the direction of the skid", and to stay "off the brake". Skid management is a whole article by itself, but here are a couple of tips for you.
First, skid management is all about being gentle with your vehicle. Something has happened to disturb the equilibrium between your vehicle and the roadway, and your tires have lost adhesion. In order to get that back, you have three basic inputs at your disposal: acceleration, braking and cornering force, and you have to use them carefully.
If your front wheels are sliding, it may help to transfer weight to the front of your vehicle. You can do this by very gently applying light braking, or--if you are accelerating--easing off the gas.
The reverse is true if your rear wheels are sliding. Transfer weight to the rear by easing off the brake. You could also transfer weight by applying acceleration, but if you're already in a skid, and driving a rear wheel drive vehicle, that's not usually a good idea.
One more way you can gain some control is to momentarily straighten your wheels. A tire rolling straight ahead has more "grip" on the pavement than one that is turned, even slightly.
So, let's say you're going into a turn, and as you turn the corner, your front end starts to "plow," or to slide in the direction of momentum, instead of taking the curved path you want it to. You're probably going too fast for the corner. Apply some light brake while straightening out the wheels for a millisecond, then off the brake and try turning again. Depending on your speed, and how much room you have, you might have time to repeat this sequence one more time. That could be enough to help you out of the skid and around the corner.
If All Else Fails
If you're still not going to make it, straighten out your wheels and drive straight off the road. Always try to leave the road at a straight ahead (perpendicular) angle. It's almost never a good idea to let your vehicle leave the roadways in a sideways attitude. That frequently leads to a roll-over, or at the least, severe undercarriage damage. If you're moving straight ahead, you may still be able to steer. If that's the case, aim for something soft!
Rule Number One
The most important defensive driving rule is to watch out for the other guy! Remember, there are lots of civilians driving around out there, in Condition White: totally unaware of the hazardous nature of their own driving. When they get around a marked unit, they sometimes do wild, unexpected things.
I once pulled up to a red traffic light behind another vehicle. I watched the driver as she looked at me and my marked unit in her mirror, and then promptly drove through the red light. Luckily, there was no cross traffic at that moment.
Another time my partner and I were headed to an injury accident, running with full emergency equipment, when we approached a multi-lane intersection. We had the green light, but something made me slow way down anyway. Just as we were about to go through, a vehicle that had been stopped at the red light on the cross street drove straight through the intersection, right in front of us.