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What To Do In A Driving Emergency

July 31, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 200

While many of us are aware that there are things you should do if you find yourself in a driving emergency such as a skid, loss of steering or a sudden puncture in one of your car tyres, how many of us actually know what those things are? In those situations it is all too easy to panic and react in a way that makes things worse rather than better, so it is well worth making sure that you do know what you are supposed to do in emergency situations. That way there is a higher probability that you will be able to stay calm and react appropriately.

Firstly there are a few essential things to remember that apply in most driving emergencies. The most obvious is don't panic! Easier said than done, but panic has a tendency to cloud your mind and make it difficult for you to quickly make calm and rational decisions. If you need to brake, try to steer first so that you will be braking in a straight line. However, if you are driving fast at the time, you need to steer gradually as sudden steering can make matters worse by leading to skidding or even flipping the car. Anything you can do to slow down first will help, so take your foot off the accelerator pedal and change down a gear.

If you lose control of your vehicle's steering, perhaps because you are skidding, you want to make sure you do everything gradually. First gently take your foot off the accelerator pedal, then steer (gently again!) in the direction that the rear of your car is sliding. This can be counter-intuitive, but basically, if the rear of your vehicle is sliding towards the drivers side, you want to slowly steer to the right to attempt to help the wheels align with each other, and vice versa. Rather than braking, use your engine to slow down by changing to a lower gear. As soon as you have a spare arm or a spare thought, switch your hazard lights on to alert other drivers to the danger.

Another thing that can cause an emergency while driving is discovering that your brakes have failed. This is one reason why you should always test your brakes after driving through any flooded areas. As long as you are on a straight road you can use the engine to slow down by changing down through the gears as before. Also look out for any slopes or grass verges that you can use to quickly lose some speed. Once your speed is below about 20mph it is safe to use the handbrake to stop. If possible, park the car away from the traffic and call a breakdown service to tow your car.

A more common incident is a sudden puncture or blow out in one or more of your car tyres. In this case, you want to use many of the tips we have already covered, with the addition of keeping the car in as straight a line as possible, so keep hold of that steering wheel! Sudden braking will make things worse, so gradually apply the brakes, and also change down through the gears. Park in a safe place and fit your spare wheel, call for a mobile tyre fitting service, or if you have driven any distance on the rims, you may need to call for a recovery vehicle.

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Source: EzineArticles
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Brake Failure

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