When you take driving lessons, you generally learn to drive under relatively controlled circumstances. Your instructor is likely to take you on friendly routes and they can intervene if they feel that you are about to land yourself in a problematic situation. However, when you pass your test and head out on the road independently, you need to make sure that you are prepared for whatever the roads throw at you. Here are just a couple of potentially problematic situations that you might experience at some point or another, alongside some advice regarding how to effectively deal with them!
Hopefully, you won’t ever find yourself in a vehicle accident. But it’s extremely important that you know what to do should you be face with one, just in case. You can never guarantee your safety on the roads, as it is dependent on more than your own driving alone. You never know when you might be struck by adverse weather conditions, poor road surfacing, issues with your vehicle, or sharing the road with poor drivers.
The first step that you need to take is to stop your vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. This should help to minimise damage and will allow you to survey the situation, gathering information regarding what next steps you should take.
Call for Medical Assistance
If you or any of your passengers are hurt, you should call for medical assistance. Generally speaking, most people will call the emergency services for this help to be dispatched. You should also check whether drivers and passengers in other vehicles are okay. You may need to administer basic first aid if people are injured.
Take Insurance Details
If nobody is injured, you should note down the insurance details of all parties involved. This will help you to file a claim and ensure that all damage is corrected as soon as possible. Remember to note down other individuals’ full name, the make and model of their vehicle, the rough time of the incident, and any other relevant details. You might want to take down the contact details of witnesses too.
Contact an Attorney
Contact an attorney after getting hurt in a car accident. They will be able to survey the situation and determine whether you are entitled to any compensation. This could be used to cover medical costs incurred through the accident, as well as replacing any lost earnings if you have had to take time off work in order to recover.
Traffic is something that every driver is bound to face at some point or another. Whether you get caught up in rush hour during your morning commute to work or evening commute home, manage to get stuck in gridlock behind an accident, find yourself passing past a venue where an event has just finished, or form part of bank holiday traffic to the nearest seaside, you’re likely to eventually end up top to tail with other vehicles on the roads. So, it’s extremely important that you know how to drive safely when there’s heavy traffic!
Maintain Attention on the Roads
Staring at the back of someone else’s vehicle for tens of minutes on end can be like watching paint dry. It’s going to be an extremely dull experience. But you need to maintain attention on the roads. Don’t start looking around for something of interest. You could find yourself engaged with something irrelevant and this could easily lead to problems.
Leave Your Phone Alone
If you’ve been sat still for an extended period of time, it can be extremely tempting to reach across to your phone and start using it for recreational purposes. Maybe you want to call someone to keep you occupied. Maybe you want to scroll through people’s’ social media feeds. You might think now is a fine opportunity to catch up on emails and replying to people’s messages. But avoid picking your phone up at all costs. You are still behind the wheel of a vehicle and you can’t afford to fall prey to distractions.
Be Aware of People Cutting In
People often try switching lanes to progress through traffic more quickly. So, be aware that people may try to cut in front of you as soon as any gap establishes itself between you and the car in front. You need to be able to sound your horn if they get too close and pose the risk of a collision.
Don’t Get Out of the Vehicle
Some people will step outside of their vehicle to get an idea of how far ahead traffic can be seen, how far back traffic is spreading, or simply to stretch their legs. But avoid doing this. The first two reasons are pointless – the amount of traffic in front isn’t going to change and the amount of traffic behind is irrelevant to how soon you’re going to get to where you’re going. Motorcycles often weave through static cars, so you don’t want to open a door (knocking a motorcyclist off their bike) or be hit by a bike that isn’t expecting people to be stood in the road.
Avoid Breaking Down
In slow moving traffic, you can find that your engine may start to overheat. If it does, your coolant levels are too low. You can’t do much about this while you are in a jam, so just keep an eye on your engine’s temperature gauge. Make sure to turn off the air conditioning if possible (as this makes the engine work harder). You might also want to open the windows, or turn the ventilation fan onto full. If you fear that your engine is overheating, pull over into a safe space where you can legally stop to allow it to cool down as soon as possible.
These are just two potentially problematic situations that you might encounter when you are driving a car. Hopefully, the above information will help you to deal with them as effectively as possible, should you find yourself in either predicament.
Photo Credit: Pixabay