HOW TO HANDLE AN EMERGENCY BEHIND THE WHEEL

Imagine you’re driving along the motorway one day, and one of your tyres blows out. 

Would you know what to do?

Or how about a brake failure – could you bring your vehicle to a halt without brakes?

Of course, most of us usually don’t even bear thinking about this stuff. It’s horrifying to even imagine a situation like that. But emergencies behind the wheel like this happen all too often – and most of us completely forget the training we get in driving lessons as soon as we get our driving licences.

There’s no fun way to talk about this kind of thing. But we can give you some practical tips and a handy way to remember them – so you can quickly recall what to do if the very worst should happen.

  1. WHEN A TYRE BLOWS, GO WITH THE FLOW

A front tyre blowout will feel like a violent jerking motion through your steering wheel, and a rear tyre blowout will be felt from behind, through the seat. Front tyre blowouts will pull the car to one side, and rear blowouts can make the back end feel like it’s fishtailing (swinging from side to side).

Loss of control is likely at this point – but you can regain control by holding the steering wheel firmly to correct the pull, and making no sudden movements.

Go with the flow and let the car gradually lose speed. Ease off the accelerator, and do not slam on the brakes – this can cause the car to pull to one side or spin out where it has less grip.

If your speed is 30mph or less, brakes are generally safe to use.

Otherwise, hold the steering wheel firmly and let the car slow down by itself.

  1. NO BRAKES? NO FEAR – JUST DROP A GEAR

Oh this one makes us wince… 

Brake failures are thankfully quite uncommon thanks to regular car servicing and the enforcement of MOT testing laws – but it’s not impossible. To make things worse, every situation is different, and you could be going at any speed, with any amount of time to react.

In a brake failure, you might think that the handbrake is the way to go – but if you’ve lost braking globally, it won’t help. And you’ll probably only find that out once it’s too late.

Instead, try to remember this sequence:

  1. Drop through the gears – a guaranteed way to lose speed
  2. Keep pumping the brake pedal in case any life is left in the braking system
  3. Try to activate the handbrake, or parking brake if your car has one
  4. Sound your horn and apply hazard lights to alert other road users
  5. Steer to safety and roll to a stop

You might only have enough time to do one or two of these things, and if you’re in a panic, time can move in weird ways. As long as you can get your foot off the accelerator and cycle down gears, you will slow down. So just try to remember this above all else, as it could significantly reduce any impact that might follow.

The best way to avoid anything like this happening in the first palace is to get your car service done regularly, by a local garage you trust.

GET YOUR CAR SERVICED IN EASTLEIGH

Keep your car running safely. Book your full car service with Master Tech Autos. Call us on 023 8061 1161 or book online today!

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