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How to Avoid an Accident in These 5 Emergency Scenarios

How to Avoid an Accident in These 5 Emergency Scenarios

Techniques to avoid car accidents aren’t all taught in driver’s education. Instead, it is something that most people learn when their lives on are the line. However, following the tips below can help you avoid an accident in an emergency scenario.

1) Tire Blows out

Tire blowouts usually occur on hot days when drivers are traveling in a straight line. The most common cause of tire blowouts is under inflated tires, a situation that can be avoided entirely if tire pressure is checked on a regular basis. To survive a tire blowout, you have to push the gas and drive straight. Sounds easy, but it is actually quite difficult. The blast that occurs when a tire blows is enough to startle even the most composed and experienced drivers. Most driver’s natural reaction is to brake and turn off the road. However, to avoid a crash, drivers must coast to a slow speed and then gently turn off the road. It is best to head for the median that corresponds to the blown tire because this will make changing the tire safer.

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2) Tire Tread Separates

A tread separation is when the tread rubber and the underlying steel belt come off a tire. After the separation has occurred, the driver is left with tire shreds and a blade of steel-backed rubber spinning around at an extremely high rate of speed. The survival technique for tread separation and a tire blowout is almost identical. However, a tread separation is a much more dangerous situation than a tire blowout. If a driver does not slow down and stop quickly, the tread separation debris can cause damage to brake lines, the fuel tank, rear seats, inner fender panels, windows and of course any person who is unlucky enough to be near the vehicle when the separation occurs.
While a tread separation may surprise you, there are symptoms of a tread separation that you should be aware of. The most common event that precedes a tread separation is a long thumping noise that turns into a slapping noise. When the tread separation occurs, it sounds like a jackhammer pounding. The time it takes for this progression to occur can be days or just mere seconds. However, the best bet when you suspect an impending tread separation is to visit a professional and have the tire inspected.

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3) Throttle Sticks

While a stuck throttle is a fairly uncommon occurrence for average drivers, it can occur. The most important thing a driver in this situation can do is to try to stop the car safely and quickly. A driver in this situation should immediately shift the car to neutral and apply the brake moderately. Don’t worry about the damage this may cause the engine, engine speed limiters on all modern cars prevent engine damage in this scenario.
If you can’t get the car to shift to neutral, shut it off, but only as the last resort. Shutting the car down will make it harder to steer, but you will still have reserve braking power to help you get the car stopped. Once you have managed to successfully stop the car, turn it off. Do not attempt to restart the vehicle, instead call a tow truck, and have the vehicle towed.

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4) Vehicle Accelerates Suddenly

Sudden acceleration, also commonly referred to as unintended acceleration, is exactly the same as a stuck throttle. However, a stuck throttle is usually a mechanical failure and a sudden acceleration is usually contributed to driver error. The error is usually that the driver meant to apply the brake, and instead hit the gas pedal. If you are not sure whether it is a true stuck throttle or a driver induced sudden acceleration, apply the same stopping techniques as you would in a stuck throttle situation.

5) Two Wheels Drop off the Shoulder

While dropping two wheels off the road may sound like a terrible situation, it is actually the easiest of the five scenarios to survive. The best technique to apply in this situation is to take your time getting back on the pavement. Trying to get back on the road too soon could result in you shooting out into traffic or across several lanes of traffic. Begin by slowly removing pressure from the gas pedal. Try not to hit the brakes unless you absolutely have to. For instance, if you are careening down a huge hill, or there is a gigantic tree in your way, you are going to want to hit the brakes. However, if there is no immediate danger or obstacle stay away from braking. Once you have allowed the car to slow down to 35 or 40 mph, you can gently turn the wheel. However, make sure to not turn the wheel more than 5 degrees. If you find that you must turn the wheel more than 5 degrees, let the car slow down more before trying to get back on the road.
Applying the above driving survival techniques in any of the suggested scenarios will help you reduce your chances of an accident, even in uncommon or dangerous situations.

Featured photo credit:  Car Crash via Shutterstock

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T. Brown

Editor, Lifehack

How to Avoid an Accident in These 5 Emergency Scenarios

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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