How To Handle These 6 Driving Emergencies
Driving emergencies can happen at any time and when they do, it’s best to know what to do. Here are 6 common road emergencies and how to handle them safely.
1 Shattered Windscreen
Especially when driving along poorly paved roads, other vehicles can throw up stones or debris that can crack or shatter your windscreen. If this happens, don’t panic! Pull over to the side of the road safely; find a blanket or big piece of cloth to cover up ventilator openings to prevent glass from falling in before slowly pushing your damaged windscreen out. Once removed, proceed to drive safely to the nearest workshop to get your windscreen fixed and remember to wear glasses to protect your eyes.
2 Blown Tires
A blown tire can be a rather shocking experience when driving due to the sudden loud noise. When this happens, your vehicle will tend to steer to one side. Try to slow down and keep a firm grip on your steering wheel while guiding your car to the side of the road. Once you’re safely stopped, access the situation and see if it can be fixed with a spare tire. If you don’t have a spare tire, call for roadside assistance.
3 Engine Failure
There are a number of reasons why your engine can cut off suddenly. In the event that this happens, turn on your hazard lights and start slowly pumping your brakes to let other drivers know you’re in trouble. Try to guide your car to the side of the road if possible. If not, remain in your lane and keep your lights on to warn other drivers of a vehicle breakdown while you call for assistance.
4 Brake Failure
Faulty brakes are dangerous especially when driving on a highway. If your brakes feel fine but you see a system light indicating brake failure, slowly make your way to the nearest workshop immediately. However, if your brakes stop working completely, use your horn or headlights to warn other road users and start steering your car to the side of the road. Avoid swerving unless it is entirely necessary to avoid an accident.
5 Faulty Headlights
Whether it’s from a weak battery or faulty connection, headlights that don’t work can be very dangerous especially when driving at night or on poorly lit roads. If you realize your headlights aren’t working properly, slow down and gradually make your way to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights, if they still work, or place road hazard markers a safe distance behind your vehicle. Move away from the road and call for roadside assistance. If you don’t have a working phone, safely flag down another car and ask for help.
6 Stuck Accelerator
Having a jammed accelerator may not be a very common problem but knowing what to do can help prevent a dangerous situation from arising. If your accelerator is jammed, quickly put your car to neutral, step on your brakes and steer your car safely to the side of the road. It’s important to not turn off your engine until you’re off the road as it may cause your steering to lock. Once off the road, turn off the ignition to prevent engine damage and call for assistance.