Emergency Situations

Defensive Driving in Emergency Situations

Defensive drivers must be prepared for any emergency in order to prevent accidents; in spite of the incorrect actions of others or the driving conditions (weather, traffic, and road), drivers must know how to handle all situations, as well as count with the necessary equipment and know how to use it.

As a defensive driver you must assume that aggressive drivers usually make mistakes and you must be alert if it happens near you; the common emergency situations are: stalling in a travel lane, wheel fire, etc.

The following are some emergency situations and recommendations to handle them:
  • Engine fire: It's one of the scariest things that can happen to you on the road, if your engine catches on fire, you must pull over quickly and get everyone out of the vehicle and keep them as far from the car as you can; then you may warn the oncoming traffic and notify the fire department. If you have a fire extinguisher use it carefully.

  • Driving off the pavement: You should hold your steering wheel tightly, then you can take your foot off the accelerator, and when the vehicle has slowed you can turn back onto the pavement if that is possible; you must stay calm during the process.

  • Accelerator gets stuck: If the car goes faster although you take your foot off the accelerator you should try to free the accelerator with your toe; if it doesn't work you must shift into neutral and apply the brakes to slow down as you pull off the road and warn other drivers by using your emergency lights.

  • Hood car flies open: This situation will block your vision, so if it suddenly happens you should slow down and try to look around the hood or use the painted center line as a guide, and then you can turn your emergency flashers on and pull your vehicle off the road.

  • Brakes failure: In this situation you must pump the brake pedal fast and hard repeatedly; if this doesn't solve the problem you can use the emergency brake gradually, shift to a low gear and try to pull off the road; once your car has stopped you can ask for help.