Many people do not know what to do in the event of an emergency while driving. Being prepared and knowing what to do in an emergency can not only save your life, but others’, too. Here are some common driving situations that can turn fatal if you do not know how to react.
Keep Calm and Drive On
Many fatal single vehicle crashes happen when a person’s vehicle runs off the road. Many times and inattentive or distracted driver will allow the vehicle’s right tires to drop off the pavement or onto highway rumble strips. Once the driver notices that they are straying off the road, he or she jerks the steering wheel to the left. The front tires both regain grip; however, the right back tire, or possibly both back tires, is off the road, and with little traction, they begin to slide out, and the vehicle spins out of control and may even flip.
To avoid this end result, you must stay calm and not overreact. If you should find yourself drifting off the road, you should let off the gas and gently ease back into the lane. Do not press down on the breaks unless you have to avoid an obstacle and have to get back into the lane faster. Be smooth with the steering wheel, because when traveling at high speeds, a little goes a long way.
Have an Emergency Car Kit
You never know when your vehicle might break down. You should always have an emergency car kit in the backseat or trunk of your car. Make sure that it is easily accessible, because you never know what kind of emergency you might have. There are many different kinds of emergency car kits, but most will have a small air compressor, tow rope, first aid kit, flashlight, blanket, and other items you would need in a car emergency. There are even special emergency car kits for the winter time. They are inexpensive and can be a life saver if you should ever break down or get into an accident.
Go into Neutral
If the throttle should get stuck, you could be in for a dangerous ride. If your vehicle is manual, press in the clutch and place the shifter into neutral. Even an automatic car will go into neutral from drive while the car is still moving. This allows even a passenger to put the car into neutral if necessary. Most modern cars have physical or electronic devices that prevent the transmission from going into reverse or park while the vehicle is moving forward. Even a manual car will go into neutral without pushing the clutch, although it just might take a little more force. In the event of an emergency where you have to stop quickly, it is always a good idea to put the car into neutral just in case you hit the accelerator by accident. In a manual transmission vehicle, press both the clutch and the break in to prevent from stalling.
Use Your Passenger
Every car has blind spots, and today’s vehicles have thicker A-pillars to house airbags. If you are riding with a passenger, take advantage of that and put them to work. While many people do not like “back seat” drivers, they can prevent you from getting into an accident with their extra set of eyes. Have them check to see if it is all clear to change lanes or have them look right while you look left when entering the road.
De-Fog the Windshield
Many people struggle with fogged up windshields, and decreased vision when driving is never a good thing. Switch the heating system from recirculation to fresh air and engage the air conditioner whenever the windshield starts fogging up. If you turn on the air conditioning and allow the system to bring in fresh air to lower the humidity inside the vehicle, you will instantly see the fog decrease. Another important thing is to change your wiper blades sooner than later! Old wiper blades will do you no good in a rainstorm and will really make it difficult to see what’s in front of you.