This winter, you might be headed out to a Utica Comets game or maybe just a quick visit to the in-laws here in New Hartford. But, if you lose your brakes, blow a tire, or experience another unusual (but not unheard of) problem, you could be headed for trouble.
So, let’s take a look at four situations you might face and some general guidance that may help you reach your destination safely:
1. The brakes go out
Your primary concern, of course, is to work your way over to the shoulder and stop the vehicle. To do so, try to downshift smoothly through the gears, which should slow down the car. At the same time, tap on the emergency brake. Try not to force it down too fast, as it may lock the tires. Keep the release button engaged so you can control it.
If you can, roll into something that will help bring you to a stop while going at a low speed. The thing here is to do everything you can to avoid a high-speed collision.
2. The accelerator sticks
Quick action may help you get things under control here. Shift into neutral, which will stop the engine from powering the wheels. Doing this allows you to retain power steering and braking ability, so you can better control the car. You can try turning off the car (which will certainly slow it down), but it will be harder to control without power.
3. A tire blows
The National Safety Commission advises drivers to NOT slam on the brakes. The car will want to veer toward the side of the bad tire, and braking can make it veer even more. Instead, concentrate on steering to the side of the road as you slow down gradually.
4. An animal jumps into the road
There are more than a million collisions between vehicles and wildlife each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Be mindful whenever you’re driving, especially around dawn and dusk, which are high-activity times for large animals. If you encounter a deer, moose or other animal in the road, hit your brakes and sound your horn. Try not to swerve — serious injuries and fatalities often occur when cars make extreme maneuvers to avoid animals.
We hope you never encounter any of these situations. But, if you do, keep your cool and respond safely. If an accident does happen, we’ll be here to help you through it!
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.