While it is something that occurs on an often normal basis for vehicles with manual transmissions, for automatic vehicle owners, the vehicle stalling can be a scary incident. More often than not, it stalls during the worst times and it tends to mean that there are deeper problems with the vehicle.
So what do you do if your vehicle stalls? As it turns out, there are specific steps that you should take that often depends on the road and traffic conditions you find yourself in.
The first thing you should always do—and always be doing, even if the vehicle hasn’t stalled—is look for the safest “escape route,” or path off the road. On a highway, these are most often the shoulders, while on regular roads, it can be a parking lot or side street. When you do pull off the road, put your signal indicator on to tell the drivers behind you what way you are going and, if it is possible, turn on your hazard lights as you get most of the vehicle into the zone of safety.
The next tip to take into consideration when your vehicle stalls is that when it does so, some of the components may feel “off.” Power steering may go out, meaning that you can still steer but will have to put more pressure into it. Your brakes may not be fully working, and you will have to press harder on them to bring the vehicle to a stop.
Speaking of brakes: do not slam on them in the middle of traffic when your vehicle stalls! It is unbelievable how often a vehicle stalls, the driver panics, and they slam on the brakes, only to be a sitting duck. This puts your life in serious danger, and threatens the lives of others on the road. Instead, pull it over off the road and allow it to coast to a stop, applying the brakes every so often if needed.
Finally, pull the vehicle as far away from the road as possible. Create enough space between your vehicle and the road to prevent collisions. When you get out of the vehicle, do not stand in front or behind the vehicle because it still could be struck by another vehicle.
Many of these tips will do you no good when you don’t practice or run through the scenario in your head while your car is running safely. Imagine what you would do if the situation arises, so that if and when it does, you are prepared.
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