How to Survive the Most Dangerous Driving Situations
When danger hits the road, don't panic. Know what to do. Follow these survival tips to protect yourself and minimize damage to your vehicle.
1. Stopping a Hydroplaning Car:
- Hydroplaning occurs when your car tires are resting on water, rather than directly on the pavement. Usually, this happens when you are driving through a puddle too fast.
- If it rains hard enough you don't even have to drive through a puddle to hydroplan it can happen anywhere on the road. This is a pretty dangerous situation; it is very easy to lose control of the vehicle.
- If this happens to you, don't brake, let the car coast until the hydroplaning stops (and if you're driving a car with a manual transmission, you need to shift).
2. Survive Ice and Snow Skids:
- Do not panic. Don't brake.
- Take your foot off the accelerator and steer the steering wheel in the direction of the skid. If you need to brake, apply constant, but gentle pressure, don't pump or let them jam.
- The brakes are likely to make noise, but you should regain control in no time.
3. Sit Back to Avoid Being Injured by the Airbag:
- Who is most at risk of being injured by the airbags that are supposed to protect us?
- According to Michigan State Police, these are the drivers who sit too close to the wheel. Sit back in your seat, rather than leaning over the steering wheel. Leave at least 25 centimeters (10 inches) between you and the steering wheel and, of course, always put on your seat belt.
4. Minimize the Impact if the Worst is Inevitable:
- So a vehicle is coming towards you; maybe the driver is distracted (or worse yet, asleep at the wheel). What should you do?
- Make sure your headlights are on, a bright light should catch the driver's attention, and that you are riding as close as possible to the right side of your lane (away from the oncoming lane).
- If the car is in your lane and it's not moving, don't overdo it. Slow down to reduce the force of the inevitable crash, then pull out of the way to the right (not to the left, in the oncoming lane).
- If you feel like you're going to crash into a sign or other obstacle, too bad, at least it's not another vehicle going full speed. Try not to hit this obstacle head-on; see if you can maneuver your vehicle so that you hit it at an angle.
5. Don't Swerve For Deer:
- Most car-deer collisions occur in the fall, between 6 p.m. and midnight, according to Michigan state police.
- If it's dark, the best way to spot deer is to drive with your high beam headlights, which will light up the animals' eyes.
- If you see a deer in your path, it is not safe to swerve: it is better to run into the deer rather than another car, telephone pole, or anything else that could cause you more damage. and your vehicle.