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situations cause some of the worst accidents.
"unexpected" can, and does confront nearly every driver at one time or
another. Our only recourse is to think through possible unexpected situations
that might arise and to plan a positive reaction ahead of time.
the unexpected situation that confronts you is going to be the result of a bad
move on the part of some other motorist. For instance, the other person might
brake suddenly or maneuver violently to miss a bird or small animal on the road.
In other cases, a fellow whose brake lights aren't working might slow down
suddenly to make a turn into a roadside entranceway, or somebody else might
carelessly pull onto the highway from a blind entranceway.
the driver ahead sometimes gets confused by expressway turnoffs or by
construction warning signs and barricades, Almost anything can happen in a
know the way to avoid these accidents through defensive driving. You know you
must always leave an out when there is traffic around. Where traffic is heavy or
road conditions create problems, slow down to decrease braking distance and
increase the time available in an emergency.
suppose you are driving defensively and something really unexpected happens?
Think about all the ways a driver could suddenly lose vision. The hood could fly
up, the lights could go out while driving at night, or an insect could fly
through the window and hit you in the eye. All these things have happened; and
therefore, drivers must be prepared to meet them.
must hold a straight course and brake as hard as possible without throwing the
vehicle into a skid. Then ease onto the shoulder of the road if you can, and as
far as possible from the traffic lane.
about the possibilities of mechanical failure. Brakes could fail, the
accelerator could stick, a tire could blow, a fire could start, or a number of
other things could happen.
emptiest feeling comes when the brake pedal goes all the way to the floor board
without affecting the vehicle's speed. You will probably pump the pedal
naturally, and this might help to build up pressure, but also be ready to try
the hand brake and shift into low gear to let engine compression help.
hill or steep grade, look for something to sideswipe--guardrails, snow banks,
roadsides brush or wall, even parked cars--anything to avoid a really bad and
possibly fatal accident. Also use horn and lights to warn others.
give some thought to all the things that can suddenly appear on the road, and
the trouble they can cause. A patch of oil or ice can be almost invisible until
your vehicle is on top of it. Then there is great danger of a skid. Water from
any source causes skids too.
tractor‑trailer driver should turn the front wheels in the direction of
the skid and apply a little throttle to straighten out the vehicle. Only after
the vehicle is straightened out can the brakes be applied, then intermittently
with the clutch engaged.
driving a two axle vehicle take your foot off the gas while steering in the
direction of the skid. Apply the brakes carefully until you feel traction again.
Then straighten out the wheels.
techniques may not solve all of your problems but they are all that can be done.
emergency arises if a large object falls off a truck ahead, a boulder falls, or
a large animal bounds into the road close ahead. You should have been checking
the roadside to know if a swerve can be made to avoid these hazards. Again, if a
head on collision with another vehicle threatens, you may have to take to the
open ground or the right ditch to avoid it. Remember that even a roll over is
better than a head on collision.
addition to the preceding list, there are many more common but unexpected
driving emergencies—a child can dart into the street, a vehicle can suddenly
pull away from the curb, etc. To handle them, you must be alert and informed.
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