Driving EmergenciesRun-off-roadDr. Bill Van Tassel: Hi! I'm Dr. Bill Van Tassel with AAA. Today, we're discussing how to handle various driving emergencies. Right now, I'm going to cover what you should do when you run off the edge of the road.
This occurs when the tires on one side of the vehicle drop off the pavement. This can be very dangerous, because the difference in traction between the road surface and the shoulder surface. This can lead to a rollover crash in which the chance of injury is very high. We're going to give you the tips you need to respond as effectively as possible.
Two key actions here. First, stabilize the vehicle; second, return to the road safely. First, stabilizing the vehicle, you want to stay calm in respect the risks evolved. You also want to maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel. The steering wheel may pull toward the shoulder. So you want to resist the urge to immediately whip the vehicle back on at the pavement. Instead, continue to steer straight, straddling the edge of the pavement. Continue to look down your path of travel.
Next, ease up on the accelerator and avoid braking. Sudden braking can upset the car. So coast down your speed. This will help you get back on the road without losing control. Allow your speed to fall to around 25 miles an hour or less.
Second step is returning to the road safely. If you attempt to steer back onto the road too soon or at too high a speed, your tires could scrub against the edge of the pavement and make it very difficult to drive back onto the road.
After you've slowed or stopped, wait until there is a significant gap in traffic. When the road is clear, turn the steering wheel about a quarter turn to the left. As soon as the outside front tire is back on the road, turn the steering quickly to the right to stay in the correct line. Make any steering adjustments needed and continue to look and steer where you want to go.
So keep it simple, remember these two key points. First, stabilize the vehicle. Just get it to settle down, don't worry yet about steering. Second, return to the road safely preparing to make any steering adjustments you need to make and keep your eyes up on your path of travel.
These are just a few of the driving emergencies you might encounter. AAA hopes that these tips will help you stay safe on the road.