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How to handle these 6 driving emergencies

Kevin V

1. Shattered Windscreen

Especially when driving along poorly paved roads, other vehicles can throw up stones or
debris that can crack or shatter your windscreen. If this happens, don’t panic! Pull over to the side of the
road safely; find a blanket or big piece of cloth to cover up ventilator openings to prevent glass from
falling in before slowly pushing your damaged windscreen out. Once removed, proceed to drive safely to the
nearest workshop to get your windscreen fixed and remember to wear glasses to protect your eyes.

2. Blown Tires

A blown tire can be a rather shocking experience when driving due to the sudden loud
noise. When this happens, your vehicle will tend to steer to one side. Try to slow down and keep a firm grip
on your steering wheel while guiding your car to the side of the road. Once you’re safely stopped, access
the situation and see if it can be fixed with a spare tire. If you don’t have a spare tire, call for
roadside assistance.

3. Engine Failure

There are a number of reasons why your engine can cut off suddenly. In the event that
this happens, turn on your hazard lights and start slowly pumping your brakes to let other drivers know
you’re in trouble. Try to guide your car to the side of the road if possible. If not, remain in your lane
and keep your lights on to warn other drivers of a vehicle breakdown while you call for assistance.

4. Brake Failure

Faulty brakes are dangerous especially when driving on a highway. If your brakes feel
fine but you see a system light indicating brake failure, slowly make your way to the nearest workshop
immediately. However, if your brakes stop working completely, use your horn or headlights to warn other road
users and start steering your car to the side of the road. Avoid swerving unless it is entirely necessary to
avoid an accident.

5. Faulty Headlights

Whether it’s from a weak battery or faulty connection, headlights that don’t work can be
very dangerous especially when driving at night or on poorly lit roads. If you realize your headlights
aren’t working properly, slow down and gradually make your way to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard
lights, if they still work, or place road hazard markers a safe distance behind your vehicle. Move away from
the road and call for roadside assistance. If you don’t have a working phone, safely flag down another car
and ask for help.

6. Stuck Accelerator

Having a jammed accelerator may not be a very common problem but knowing what to do can
help prevent a dangerous situation from arising. If your accelerator is jammed, quickly put your car to
neutral, step on your brakes and steer your car safely to the side of the road. It’s important to not turn
off your engine until you’re off the road as it may cause your steering to lock. Once off the road, turn off
the ignition to prevent engine damage and call for assistance.