Driving Emergencies

Safe handling of driving emergencies requires special skills and knowledge.

Running off the road:

If your vehicle drifts onto the shoulder or if you’re forced off the road:

  • Stay calm
  • Remove your foot from the accelerator
  • Check your mirror to make sure your lane is clear
  • Look up the middle of your lane to ease back onto the road

Tire Blowouts:

A tire blowout can cause your vehicle to lose control. Do the following for a safe recovery:

  • Grip the wheel firmly
  • Remove your foot from the accelerator to slow down
  • Signal and look for a safe place to pull off the road
  • When you are under control and you have slowed down gently apply the brakes to stop your vehicle

Accelerator sticks to floorboard:

Press your foot firmly against the pedal and release. If this does not free the pedal

  • Shift your vehicle into neutral
  • Apply the brakes
  • Pull off the road and stop. Once stopped, shift into park

Brake failure:

Quickly pump the brake pedal 7-8 times to see if you can build up enough pressure to stop the vehicle. If this does not work:

  • Shift into a lower gear
  • Use your parking brake to stop the vehicle

Steering failure:

If you suddenly lose steering:

  • Ease off of the accelerator
  • If you vehicle holds the lane, slow down and lightly apply the brakes
  • If your vehicle is heading off the road or towards a another vehicle apply the brakes using maximum pressure

Author, Rich Heinrich,

Master Instructor, Emeritus