16 Scary Driving Scenarios and Exactly How to Handle Them
Often when driving, we encounter situations that are out of our control. Make the right decisions when in a tight spot with these tips.
Scary Driving Scenarios
Learning how to drive is a very intense practice. After all, you’re out there on the road and anything can happen. You can only control what you’re doing, but what if nature or other drivers have other ideas? Make sure you take the necessary precautions and know what to do in these scary driving scenarios. While you’re on the road, these are the 10 car sounds you should never ignore.
You’re at a four-way stop
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Whoever arrives at the stop sign first has the right of way, says David Nunn, Land Rover Experience Manager. When you and another driver pull up to different points of the intersection at seemingly the exact same time, yield to the driver on the right. Although road signs can be confusing, all drivers involved should come out unscathed. However, these crazy things people have done while driving will shock you.
The stoplight just turned yellow
If the light turns yellow as you’re approaching an intersection, use your judgment to determine the best course of action. Never go through a yellow light if you think you can stop safely before the light turns red. These are things you’re doing that your car mechanics wouldn’t.
If a deer jumps in front of your car…
While it’s natural to be momentarily overcome with terror, do your best to stay calm. “Keep both hands securely on the wheel, apply the brakes firmly, and never swerve,” Nunn says. (He recommends using a “shuffle steer,” where you shuffle your hands along the steering wheel, even when you turn, versus taking one hand off to rotate the wheel to maintain maximum control of your vehicle.) Swerving in an attempt not to hit an animal is dangerous because you could hit a car in the neighboring lane or run off the road right into a tree.
If the sun is blinding you…
Try to limit your reaction as much as possible. Don’t slam on the brakes or swerve, as this could pose a danger to both yourself and other drivers around you. Do your best to continue on your path and remain predictable to other drivers. This is just one of the things they should teach in Driver’s Ed, like these driving etiquette rules you’ve probably forgotten since you took the class.
When another driver is tailgating your car…
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If a car behind you is tailgating and honking, pull over and let it by; it may be a legitimate emergency. If a car is tailgating you on the highway for no apparent reason, pull over to the right-hand lane as soon as it’s safe for you to do so and let the driver pass. Even when it’s not your “fault,” it is unsafe to travel with another vehicle at such close proximity. While you’re on the road, these are the 14 etiquette rules most people ignore–but shouldn’t.
If you spot an impaired driver ahead
If the car ahead of you is swerving and the driver appears to be impaired by drugs or alcohol, give him plenty of room and do not tailgate. Pay close attention, but don’t fixate on the vehicle. If it’s safe for you to do so while driving, note the car’s license plate and call 911 to report the issue.
If there’s an approaching tornado
While your instinct may be to pull over under an overpass to wait it out, you may still be potentially exposed to the dangers of flying debris. If traffic is light, try driving out of the tornado’s path by moving at a right angle away from the vortex. If not, park and make your way inside a sturdy building. If you’re in open country, exit the car and try to get as far from any trees, cars, or other large structures and lie face down, covering your head with your arms, and make sure you know these things you should never do during an emergency.
If your car is running on empty
Even though you should never drive with less than a quarter tank of gas in the car, sometimes there isn’t time to fill up on gas and then the gas light comes on indicating you’re almost out of gas. If this happens, the experts at the Ford Driving Skills for Life Team (Ford DSFL) tells Reader’s Digest that you should “keep your gas tank close to full whenever possible, and, on longer trips, always plan enough time to stop to stretch, get something to eat, return calls or text messages, and change drivers or rest if you feel drowsy.” However, if the worst-case scenario has already happened and you’re already on the road on empty, they recommend pulling over to the side of the road in a safe area. “Try to avoid running out of fuel in the middle of the road, and in the event that you do, stay in your car while getting help. You should also make sure to turn your hazard lights on, put your car in park and use your e-brake.” When you do park, make sure you follow these 9 smart tips for fighting a parking ticket.
When the tire blows out
Having a tire blow out is one of the ultimate scary driving situations. Never fear, though, as the experts at the Ford Driving Skills for Life Team have a workable solution. “If it happens to you, try not to panic. Next, gradually reduce your speed by coming off the gas and even braking lightly. You can then find a safe spot to steer the car off the road.” It matters whether the front tire or the back tire goes out. “If a front tire blows out, it will make steering difficult and may even pull you in a direction you don’t want to go. Keep a firm grip on the wheel and steer in the direction you need to, but avoid jerking the wheel abruptly.” Make sure you know this one-second tire test that could save your life.