Friday, August 2, 2013

Don't Be an Accident Statistic

It's easy enough to minimize fender benders and other common accidents by practicing safe driving habits. However, that still leaves the evening news full of strange incidents that can threaten your safety while you're in a car. You can prepare for these unusual misfortunes by following these guidelines. The main thing to remember is to always keep your cool.

Maneuver through High-Speed Blowouts
Minimize your chances of a high-speed blowout by keeping your tires properly inflated and making sure the suspension is correctly aligned. Whenever you fill up the gas tank, examine your tires for wear and replace them as needed. If a blowout surprises you anyway, do not slam on the brakes. Instead, steer away from the direction in which the car wants to skid and apply steady pressure on the brakes. You want to maintain maximum control while maneuvering your vehicle to the side of the road. Slow the vehicle by downshifting with a manual transmission or shifting into second or low gear with an automatic.
 
Avoid Road Rage Monsters
You've probably encountered these aggressive monsters. They rush into open spaces without regard to how slowly traffic is moving and intimidate a slow car in front of them by sitting on their horns, flashing their lights, or letting lose colorful verbal and finger expressions. If you find such a person behind you, pull over into an empty lane and let them pass. If that isn't enough to end their harassment, take a deep breath to calm down and drive to the nearest police station. If necessary, go inside and consult an officer. More than likely, the road rager will have long since disappeared.
 
Escape Underwater
If your car falls into water, don't panic and remember that every second counts. Unfasten your seat belt and move your head to the air pocket near the top or rear of your vehicle. Water pressure will keep your doors shut, so don't even try them. Instead, breathe deeply and slowly roll down your windows to equalize the pressure. Prepare for a forceful torrent of water. Then swim out of the small opening and up to the surface. If you can, have a window-breaking tool within easy reach. You can use its pointed end to break through window and windshield glass.
 
Flee a forest fire
The only way to drive out of a wildfire is if you can beyond the road ahead. Otherwise, smoke will impair your visibility and you won't know if you're driving over a live electric wire or into an oncoming fire truck. Keep your windows rolled up, shut your vents, and turn on the air-conditioner under "recirculate." Drive through any fire lines only if the way beyond is clear or you may be trapped within the flames.
 
References
National Safety Council: What to Do If You Have a Blowout on the Highway
NHTSA: Aggressive Drivers
ABC News: How to Escape from a Sinking Car
WikiHow: How to Survive a Wildfire While Trapped in a Vehicle
Jessica Atlass is a mother of two and has previous work experience with Consumer Rights. She is an avid blogger and an advocate for safety. She has published a Guide for Both Cyclists and Drivers and Is Distracted Driving The New Drunk Driving? on GetInsuranceQuotes.ca.

3 comments:

  1. very nicely jotted down man .. this should be hung on traffic signals .. there are many provocative .. drivers on the road who end up being a curse for others.

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