Common Driving Emergencies and How to Respond
Driving on the roads of the UAE is generally a smooth and safe experience, but emergency situations can occur anywhere, anytime. Reckless driving is a major cause of fatal crashes in the UAE and the world over. Let’s explore some of the common driving emergencies and how you can survive them.
How to Avoid and Survive Driving Emergencies
You need to be ready to handle any emergency situations while driving. No matter how proficient you are, you might come across all kinds of bad or reckless drivers. However, when it comes to avoiding accidents and emergencies, it is up to you to react to them smartly. Let’s go through some common driving emergencies and tips to survive them.
Avoid stopping your vehicles on the road unless it is necessary for your safety or it is to obey the law. And in case you have to, try slowing down your car early before the actual stop. This will alert other drivers.
In case vehicle emergency follow these steps:
- Try to move away from traffic.
- Choose a safe point to stop from where all the other vehicles can see you.
- Turn on your hazard lights as soon as you have to stop.
- To indicate an emergency situation, place emergency triangles behind your vehicle and lift the hood.
Emergency brakes are useful during a sudden and unpredictable situation. For instance, a pedestrian walks in front of your car, or a luggage bag falls off from the car in front of you. In such cases, you have to apply emergency brakes, and you can do it safely if you are keeping a safe following distance from other cars. In most emergencies, this is the first thing you will need to do to avoid an accident and turn on the double indicators.
Skidding is usually caused by accelerating, braking, or driving too fast or harshly in poor road conditions. Firstly, remove your foot from the brake pedal and ease off the accelerator. For rear-wheel skid:
- Turn the steering wheel in the direction your rear wheels slide.
- Do this repeatedly until you have control of the vehicle.
As for a front-wheel skid
- Shift the gear to neutral and release the accelerator.
- Wait until traction returns, don’t try to steer in the meantime.
- Turn in the direction you want to go, when the traction returns.
- Proceed carefully, once you have put the transmission back to drive.
If your car is showing signs of fire such as smoke or a short circuit in a car, immediately pull over your car. Turn off the ignition, and get to a safe distance from the car and contact the fire department. If the fire is controllable, use fire extinguisher on the part from where the fire or smoke is coming from, this will stop the fir from spreading on to other parts. Experimenting with car fires can be extremely dangerous, therefore make sure you’re doing it properly. Don’t pour water on gasoline or diesel fire.
Keep an eye on your car’s coolant level and motor oil. This will keep your engine from overheating.
Oncoming Vehicle in your Lane
If an oncoming vehicle cuts in your lane, flash high beams and sound your horn immediately. In case they don’t respond, carefully look into your side mirror and steer towards the free side of the road in your lane. Don’t steer towards his side of the lane as it can cause a head-on collision in case he pulls back into his/her lane.
As tyre blowouts can happen at any time, one must be prepared to handle a car tyre burst. It is one of the most common car problems when driving. Instead of slowing down or trying to stop the car, keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and keep moving straight.
In case of a rear-tyre blowout, turning your car at a high speed can spin your car and result in an accident. To avoid tyre blowout, keep a regular check on your tyre pressure, especially on highways because most accidents happen when the tyres are underinflated/overinflated and the weather is hot.
Driving on roads can sometimes be a little tough, especially if it is a megacity, owing to the fast-track traffic. However, using your mind at the right time and knowing what to do in emergency situations beforehand can save anyone from a potential loss.
In case of any emergency, do not delay further and contact these authorities to get help:
- 999 for Police.
- 998 for Ambulance.
- 997 for Fire Department (Civil Defence).
This concludes our useful tips for driving emergencies. We hope that this will help you avoid such situations or get out of them as soon as possible.
Old and faulty cars are also one of the prime suspects in unexpected roadside emergencies. Keep extra care of regular maintenance in old cars. If you’re too unsure to take an old car on a long drive or highway road, consider buying a used car in the UAE with less mileage and better performance.
For more information on car and road safety, stay tuned to the UAE’s top auto blog.