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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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More by this author

T. Brown

Editor, Lifehack

How to Avoid an Accident in These 5 Emergency Scenarios

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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