4 ways to protect yourself on the road when the unexpected happens

Picture this: You’re driving down the road. The radio is on and the tune is one you love to sing along to. You’re enjoying the ride and don’t have a care in the world.

Then there is a loud “POP!” and your car starts to veer out of control. Your tire suddenly blew out. Would you know what to do?

First and foremost, try to remain calm. A blow out, a stuck gas pedal, hydroplaning. All of these things aren’t normal, everyday occurrences. But they can happen. How you react when these types of atypical events happen can help you to stay safe.

Take a look at the following tips for how to handle things when the unexpected happens on the road:

Flat tire

Your tire blows out

Grip the steering wheel tightly with both hands so your car doesn’t swerve as the air leaves your tire. Don’t slam your brakes; accelerate carefully to maintain your speed. Then, take your foot off the gas, let the car slow naturally, turn on your hazard lights and pull over. It’s safe to gently brake once you’ve slowed to 25 mph.

Cars driving on a wet roadway.

Your car starts to hydroplane

Do not slam on the brakes. Resist that urge! Instead, take your foot off the accelerator. Look and steer in the direction you want to go. If you’re still skidding, gently tap the brakes.

A car in motion at night with the streetlights displaying a streaming effect.

Your gas pedal sticks

Jiggle or stomp the gas pedal if an object has lodged underneath. If that doesn’t work or you need a faster response, put your car in neutral, tap your brakes repeatedly to alert other drivers, and pull over.

Cars in motion at night.

Your brakes stop working

First, try pumping the brake pedal. If your car still won’t slow down, shift into neutral or a lower gear. For a faster response, gently engage your parking brake. Another option is to nudge your car against an object like a guardrail or curb; its friction will slow you down. Your car will get damaged, but you may avoid a crash.

You have automobile insurance in the event there is vehicle damage, so always put your life and safety first. If you need to review your coverage, please reach out. We’re here to help!

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