All drivers are human beings and it is naturally that sometimes they do stupid things. But a good experienced driver realizes his or her mistakes and reacts properly. This allows them to leave the place just maybe a bit ashamed but not injured.
However if the driver’s first reaction to any emergency is slamming on the brakes then he or she should carefully consider own driving skills.
Remember that panic stop is the last variant in most emergency situations as you can just block all four wheels of your car and lose steering control. Very often it is much easier to drive around an obstacle than just to stop in front of it. If you want to become a safe driver the first thing you must master is to react properly and take correct decision within a few seconds represented by a situation.
The first key moment in you training program is to be aware of your vehicle’s limits. You can try emergency maneuvers on some empty of deserted road. It will be better if you practice both in sunny and wet weather conditions. The more aware you are getting with your car’s limits and characteristics the better you will be able to control it in real emergency situation.
Don’t forget to adjust your seat belt properly, let a good margin for error during the maneuvers and train on roads free from heavy traffic. Don’t forget that your safety is only your responsibility. Make sure that all the maneuvers you are performing are really safe for you and never attempt them without an experienced driving instructor’s assistance if you feel uncomfortable with them.
The main reason for these maneuvers is becoming more confident and experienced in driving and aware of what you can expect from your own vehicle in case of emergency.
1. Try a panic stop. At first make sure that there are no other vehicle behind you and then try to make a stop as short as you can, driving at about 30 mph. Do this a few times in a raw without letting the brakes getting cool. If your car skids sideways try to release the brakes and then reapply them again immediately. Check how quickly you regain control over the car.
To maintain steering control when you are stopping in the shortest distance you should pump the brakes. On this principle the anti-lock brakes are based as they are designed to pump the brakes ten times per second. That’s why if your vehicle is equipped with the anti-lock brakes just stand on the brakes and the anti-lock system will do everything for you.
2. Try to swerve from one lane to another. WARNING: you should always keep in mind that some kinds of vehicles, for example SUVs are very unstable and can turn over at sharp turns. Steering around an obstacle is very often the best way to avoid many accidents on the road. If you are driving along one of highway’s lane and traffic ahead suddenly stops you’d better turn into a safe lane or to steer around instead of making a panic stop. Even if you have enough room to make a safe stop a motorist driving behind you may have a worse reaction and this can cause a chain reaction road accident.
Train yourself to leave more than enough room for the case you overestimate your car’s abilities. Check your vehicle’s reaction to sudden change of direction.
3. Step hard on the gas when making a turn. This maneuver should be done in a wet weather on an empty parking lot. If you your car is front wheel drive then it will go ahead until you step on the gas. The rear wheel drive car will probably spin. This response can cause serious problem if it happens on the road unexpectedly.
Try to get prepared for all potential emergency situations on the road, at least to the most common ones:
• If a car suddenly pulls out into your lane;
• If a car ahead makes a sudden stop;
• If a parked car’s door opens when you are approaching;
• If a car is approaching at you in your lane on a two-lane road.
Be attentive. Don’t forget that most accidents happen because people just don’t expect them. Anticipating, knowing your car’s characteristics and being prepared for response are the main factors that can help you avoid accidents.