At Fuel Express, we offer fleet fuel cards to drivers of cars, trucks, vans, and more. We know that fleet drivers spend a lot of time on the road, and it’s important to know what to do in dangerous situations. Most of the situations below occur infrequently, but if one of them happens, follow these tips and you should be alright.
If you suddenly blow a tire, don’t panic – the thing you need to remember is that you need to keep the car balanced. While your initial reaction may be to hit the brakes, do not do so; hitting the brakes will only throw the car out of balance more. You also shouldn’t let your foot off of the accelerator. This will shift the car’s weight from the rear to the front and could throw the balance off as well. If you blow a tire, keep your foot on the accelerator and regain control of the car. Once you’ve regained control and balance, slow the car down while steering in the direction you want to go (preferable the shoulder of the road). Once you’ve stopped, you can change the tire or call for help.
The idea of your accelerator pedal sticking is a pretty scary one, but in the rare case it happens, you need to stay calm. Don’t look down at the pedal to see what’s wrong – you don’t want to take your eyes off the road. Instead, tap the pedal to see if you can disengage it. If you can’t, take your foot off the pedal and press firmly on the brakes, but don’t pump them. While pressing on the brakes, shift the car into neutral (or depress the clutch). Steer the car to a safe place, then turn off the engine and call for help.
Let’s hope your brakes never fail because if they do, the actions you should take could cause damage to your emergency brake or transmission, but in the event, there’s no better way to handle it. If your brakes fail, stay calm, depress the clutch, and shift your car into a lower gear. At the same, time, apply the emergency brake to help slow your car down. If you’re in a car with an automatic transmission, apply the emergency brake and shift it into the lowest gear possible. Guide your car to a safe spot on the road (preferably the shoulder), then call for help.
If your engine temperature gauge seems to be quite high, reduce the power your engine is using by turning off your air conditioner. If you see steam, pull over and turn off the engine. The problem could be your coolant level, so pop the hood and check to see if it’s low. If you’re not, the problem could be your brake pads or brake calipers. If you’re not sure what to look for, call for help.
For more information about this occurrence, check out our blog “What to Know About Overheating Engines.”
Sometimes flying debris like large stones or hail can cause cracked windshields. Other times, it can be branches or larger items if you’re driving during a storm. No matter what the cause, windshield cracks can startle drivers and cause them to panic. If this happens to you, stay calm and assess your best option. If the crack was caused by debris from a car or truck in front of you, slow down and keep a safer distance. If it was caused by bad weather, pull over to the side of the road or find an overpass and stop underneath it (if it’s safe) to avoid more damage. Then, call your insurance company.