The road is scary as shit! With all the stats of people dying on the roadside due to car crashes and other accidents, it is hard enough to get behind the wheel confidently. But what if there the problem is not in the driver, but the vehicle itself? How do you react to some of very dangerous yet plausible circumstances in order to keep yourself and others around you safe? Below is the list of 6 scary things that can happen while driving , and a guide on how can one minimize the damage while keeping safety the top most priority.
1) Your Hood Blowing Steam
And I mean not showing tantrums, but blowing literal steam! This is an extremely complicated situation that requires you to remain calm and present in thinking. If you see some smoke coming out of your engine, it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s on fire. The first and foremost possibility to consider is that it might be smoking because one of the fluids like the antifreeze, oil, water, brake fluid, etc. is low due to leakage or any other reason. If it is black smoke, you can bet that it was due to oil.
Never try to unscrew or open your hoses, radiators etc when the car is smoking or even hot. Your engine is pressurized even after a small trip and can shoot scalding hot liquids at your face if you try to open anything too soon. If you know what to do only then try to mess with stuff. Otherwise just stop the car, call a friend or a tow to get your vehicle to a professional.
2) Your Brakes Stop Working
If this happens then hope that you are not going down a hill, at high speeds and that you are driving a manual. If you are driving a manual car, downshifting gear in order to slow it down is the right thing to do. You will have to be a bit more crafty if you are driving an auto. And for that, you will have to remember that a paint job or a few dents are not as important as yourself or your engine.
Look for any fields, grassy medians, or hills. Head for those. The rough terrain like dirt, grass and inclines etc. will help in slowing down the car. If you are on a road or in the city, these things might not be easy to spot. So your best bet is to try and find something as soft as possible, with minimal concrete content. Chain link fences are a good option. Trees are bad.
3) You are Driving a Stick and Have to Stop on a Hill for the First Time
The difficulty for beginners is having your foot on the brake and quickly transferring to get the perfect clutch-out, accelerator in ratio, right? For this, you will have to practice beforehand coming to such areas. But if you are stuck somewhere. use the E-brake/Parking Brake option as your safety net. This will stop the car from sliding down the hill if not enough acceleration given, and as you get into the first gear slowly release the E-brake when you will the car has enough thrust to move on. It makes your job just a little less nerve-wracking.
4) Your Tire Blows Out
At some point in your driving career, especially if you don’t care of your tires, your tire might blow out while you are driving. It might start with a burst sound, and then you might see a couple black pieces fly off the side of your car. The only thing to do there is not to freak out, and definitely not drive faster. When this happens, pull over to a safe place on the side of the road and change your tire for a donut. Try to control your car when this happens, and try to apply brakes as normally as you can, as heavy braking can add into slipping and skidding the car further.
5) Somebody Else’s Tire Blows Out
This sounds like a gunshot, but you will definitely have to think fast when this happens. If the car is somewhere in the vicinity, it is best to just pull over safely and let the scenario take its course. If it’s from a vehicle next to you, you need to quickly get ahead. If it’s in front of you, slow down at a pace that won’t harm the cars behind you, and give them enough warning to change their course. Wait for that person to pull over, and then go along.
6) You Hydroplane or Slide on Ice and Snow
We know it’s hard to control yourself when you feel you have no control over the car. But the real mettle of a person is tested when the calamity strikes. Rather than blurting out those wide-mouthed scream, bulging eyes, and deafening howls, you will be better off not to panic and just start stomping on pedals and oversteering when your car starts to skid and slide. Keep calm, take your foot off the gas and brakes, and make subtle steering movements. Braking too hard can just cause your car to skid even more due to the already lack of traction between the tires and the road.
Have any more scenarios to add to this howler of a list? Comment below!