My wife had this exact same thing happen to her in a brand new car with good tires. It can happen easily if you wrench the steering wheel quickly (as I'm sure this maneuver required in order to miss the truck). Still, it might be prudent to have the brakes checked. I'm assuming the tires are not bald, but a new set of high-traction rated tires are well worth the benefits in safety.
With all this said, I'm surprised you have a Camry with that many miles on it that still runs, as no one I know has had one that lasted that long. I'm assuming yours has already had an engine and transmission rebuild.
Not to burst anyones bubble, but if you want complete driving control, you go with ABS not the other way around. Let the computer do its job and the reaction time is far quicker than our own. Plus you focus on the road and whatever immediate hazard there is. It can be another driver or the weather. It's one less area to worry about.
I spent time in the past in a high speed driving school in new Vettes driving through wet, intentionally switching the ABS on and off. It was done in a straight stretch between cones. Pretty remarkable difference having ABS, regardless of speed in any situation. I was sold. I also love AWD now and have it in my new GM SUV. It also has great benefits in snow.
We also had traction control option in our new Acuras; great in snow and wet. That option was a must in my opinion, even with front wheel drive. This is one of the biggest reasons I buy the newest vehicles available because of technological and safety advances. A year or 2 newer vehicle comes out with better options such as these and you wonder how you lived without them.
I love Onstar as well, and it could save your life even if you are unconscious if the airbag deploys, you are immediately pinpointed on GPS and help is on the way. Although this is a totally different vehicle in this review, go with as many safety options as possible. You will never regret it.
I agree that the new safety features are great, and especially for the vast majority of drivers who are not very adept at performance or accident avoidance driving. I wish high performance driving courses were mandatory for obtaining a driver's license. I do however, feel that the many new technologies can handicap drivers because they never learn how to truly DRIVE the cars. A good driver should have the instincts and abilities required to control a car with or WITHOUT ABS, traction control or the various other "driving for dummies" devices on newer cars. We need better driver training, not robotically controlled vehicles.
I have a '94 camry and once I had to brake very hard going 100 km/h and it spun 180 degrees across two lanes. The next morning I checked and the tread was worn unevenly on the back tires. That was the cause.
It's not that the driver is not a "good" driver or that the car has a brake or tire problem -- as most of the above comments elude to -- the real problem is the car.
My wife has a Camry. After she spun out while driving straight on some black ice, I decided to drive the car myself for a while to check it out. Now before I proceed, I want you to know that we pretty much switch solely to Toyota for all of our cars, but there is something troubling about the Camry design when it comes to driving on ice and snow. In my younger days, I used to be pretty wild the way I drove and I lived in Potsdam NY pretty close to the Canadian border, so I've had a fair number of snowy days to practice on. I've learned how to slide the car in the snow and always maintain full control.
So now back to the Camry; after my wife's accident, I drove her car on a snowy day and lo and behold, as I turned into a side street, the tail just took off on me. Instead of sliding, it whipped out on me in a fraction a second. That lack of control is a very scary experience. For this winter I am going to try two snow tires on the back, and hopefully the back will stay where it belongs.
I agree. Another problem is that when you get into an unfamiliar car, such as a rental, you do not know which of these features it does or does not have. Knowing whether or not a vehicle has these features will (or at least should) impact how you respond in an emergency situation.
ABS is a great safety feature, probably the most significant advancement since seat belts. It is worth having, but one should still know how to drive without it. Traction control, I would just as soon do without. Stability control, I am not too sure of, because there are certain emergency maneuvers (which I have unfortunately been in) where you have to plan on a fishtail occurring and negotiate your technique accordingly.
You can have all the fancy systems you want in the vehicle, but you are never going to violate the laws of physics. There is only a certain range within or threshold to which stability control is effective. Beyond that, the car gets away from you. Unfortunately, when that occurs is based entirely on the performance of the system and varies from vehicle to vehicle.
I do not want to be going through a turn with stability control engaged, anticipating the vehicle holding its course, only to have it unexpectedly break traction because I have exceeded the performance threshold of the system. This is potentially far more dangerous than simply not having stability control, definitively knowing how my vehicle will respond under all conditions, and how to drive while not counting some limited capability system in the first place.