How to Navigate Four Terrifying Driving Situations
Even with the most advanced safety technology, driving can be unnerving. Unexpected weather conditions, treacherous road conditions, mechanical malfunctions, and of course, other drivers who are distracted, aggressive, or oblivious, can cause any driver to grip the wheel with fear.
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If you notice the car in front of you is driving erratically or swerving, it’s best to keep your distance, according to Reader’s Digest writer, Victoria Holt.
Hydroplaning is sure to cause even the most experienced and confident driver to break out into a cold sweat. But, Urbo.com writer Scott Bender, advises drivers to fight against the instinct to hit the brakes, which will just cause the vehicle to spin out faster. Instead, Bender recommends drivers should stay calm, try to regain command of the steering wheel, and try to direct the vehicle without wrenching the wheel.
“If you have front wheel drive and/or antilock braking and traction control, then ease on the accelerator to a safe area until you gain control. If you have rear wheel drive, then do not accelerate and let the car’s momentum run out as you guide it to safety,” reports Bender.
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Depending on the time of day, the sun can be your friend, gently lighting your way; or your enemy, blinding you completely. When the sun really gets in your eyes, Holt advises you fight the urge to brake hard or swerve. Instead, she recommends just staying the course and “remain[ing] predictable to drivers.”
Sometimes people who tailgate are just jerks; other times, it is a true emergency. Either way, if the vehicle behind you is riding your bumper and hitting the horn, it’s best to get out of his or her way by pulling over, according to Holt, who notes that no matter the reason for the tailgate, it’s a completely unsafe driving situation for everyone on the road.