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Safety Tips

Driving Emergency Tips

You may have heard on the news how some vehicle accelerator pedals get stuck. Take a moment to think what you would do, if for some reason the car you are driving does not stop.

Pump, Park, Shift, Swipe

These are the words to remember, “Pump”, “Park”, “Shift”, “Swipe”, but you have to act quickly in an emergency, so make sure you really think these through.

  1. Pump. Pump the brake pedal. The break pressure may return.
  2. Park. Use the parking brake, but try to hit it gradually to avoid a spin.
  3. Shift. Try shifting into a lower gear (automatics also have a lower range). If you’re still going too fast, remember your life is worth more than any gears or transmission. Try reverse, or park. If the accelerator is stuck, try shifting into neutral.
  4. Swipe. Still can’t stop? Try to sideswipe something – a parked car, a guardrail, a curb, a building. Any collision on the side of a vehicle will have much less impact than a head-on collision.

Common Sense Driving

Some people are used to driving at a certain speed, and forget to slow down when conditions change. This is a common problem in Southern California where it rarely rains.

Here are some common driving errors:

  1. Driving over 60 mph on wet roads
    • People who live in rainy climates are familiar with hydroplaning
  2. Not giving enough time to brake on wet roads
    • This is especially important after the first light rain, as the roads will be more slick than after days of heavy rain.
  3. Driving faster than visibility allows
    • When it’s foggy, give yourself enough time to react. Slow down, and use the flashers, so other cars can see you.

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