This article is Part II of a 2-part series on how to survive a potential motor vehicle crash.
Potential Accident #6: Tire Blowout
Tire blowouts are a frequent occurrence on the roadway, so knowing what to do in the case of one can keep you safe. The sound of a blow-out is what frightens drivers the most and makes them often do the wrong thing by trying to slow down quickly and getting off the road. You have to stay calm.
With a rear-tire blowout, turning the wheel at high speed while attempting to slow down can result in a spin and a potentially dangerous crash. Stay away from the brake pedal. Press the accelerator for an instant, and remember to drive straight down your lane. Let your car coast to slow down, and then gently pull over onto the shoulder.
Most blowouts occur in hot weather to under-inflated tires. Make sure to frequently check your tire pressure, and you won’t have to worry about a blowout.
Potential Accident #7: Jerky Steering
When facing a potential accident situation, you don’t want to be the cause of one. Jerking the wheel can lead to a very dangerous situation because it can make the car lose traction causing a spin. You want to move your steering wheel rapidly but smoothly so that the tires will react in a safe manner.
Potential Accident #8: Sudden Acceleration and Stuck Throttles
There are several things that can cause sudden acceleration and stuck throttles: loose floor mats and a poorly placed throttle cable. If your engine starts to suddenly race uncontrollably, you have to stop it immediately.
According to Edmund.com, “… try pushing the pedal to its left. If that doesn’t stop the vehicle, slap the transmission into Neutral. Don’t worry about inadvertently shifting into Reverse. Most modern vehicles will not allow you to do that without manipulating a button on the shift lever. And if you do manage to get to Reverse, the computer in the transmission of all modern vehicles will reject your request. As a very last resort, turn off the ignition.
“While taking these actions, press the brake as hard as you can. In every well-maintained modern car, the brakes easily overpower the engine, even if the transmission downshifts a gear or two. If you’re truly pushing the brake as hard as you can, the car will stop, even with the engine going full speed. However, the brakes can’t beat the engine forever and people with physical problems may not be able to maintain adequate brake pressure, so select Neutral and turn off the ignition.”
Potential Accident #9: Front-Tire Slide
If your front tires suddenly lose traction, do not use the brake. Instead, remove your foot from the gas pedal, keep the steering wheel straight, and wait for the tires to grip. If you turn the wheel, you’re actually asking the tires to grip even more and they won’t be able to provide it.
Potential Accident #10: Rear-Tire Slide
With a rear-tire slide, you have to pay attention to where the car is going. Are the rear wheels sliding to the right or to the left? You want to turn the steering wheel in the same direction as the back tires are headed. This will straighten the car’s direction. Never jerk the steering wheel, as that may make the situation uncontrollable.
Sometimes the rear of the car will come back around the other side of the car after your initial safety actions. Remain calm, and repeat turning the steering wheel in the direction of the slide until your car straightens out or comes to a stop.
I hope these two articles on how to react to a potentially dangerous accident are helpful. Just remember to stay calm and keep your mind focused on what needs to be done.
Please read these important safe driving tips, and share with others so the info can be passed along. Thank you.
Please be safe out there!
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