Driving down the motorway in your Land Rover is a freeing, peaceful and fun experience most of the time. You’re high above the world and sure you’re going to get where you need to be in record time. There’s nothing that can stop you from making that morning meeting or getting home in time for dinner. Nothing, that is, except a few driving emergencies.
In most cases, avoiding driving emergencies is simple. They can be prevented many times by taking care and maintaining Land Rover parts properly. In other cases, they simply happen. If you’re caught on the road during an emergency, knowing exactly how to handle it is important. This information could save your life and prevent you from doing damage to your Land Rover and its car parts.
So, what type of driving emergencies should you be prepared for?
Picture this: You’re driving down the M2 after dark. You had to stay late at work, and now you just can’t wait to get home. Suddenly a red deer bounds out in front of you. What do you do?
- Never Swerve- This will be your first instinct in an effort to avoid hitting the deer. Unfortunately, this can result in a more serious accident and worse injuries. Your insurance company might also find that you’re at fault for an accident if you swerve to miss the deer and end up hitting a tree or another car instead.
- Hit the Brakes- If you have enough time, you may be able to come to a complete stop before actually hitting the deer. Stop as quickly and as safely as possible, keeping in mind that cars behind you might not be prepared for your sudden braking. While you’re pressing on the brakes, keep your car pointed forward. This also ensures that if the deer is fast enough, he may be able to get past the front of the Land Rover if you are unable to stop completely.
- Use the Horn- There’s a reason for the phrase, “Deer in the headlights.” Deer and other wildlife may be temporarily stunned by the bright lights in their face and may freeze in the road. Blowing your horn may help startle them back to reality so they move out of the way. It also alerts other drivers to the presence of something wrong.
As you’re driving down the road at night, make sure you’re always aware and watching out for animals, especially on rural roads. Look to the sides of the roads often. If you spot one animal, also be aware that others might not be far behind. Animals like deer travel in groups.
Bugs in the Land Rover
This may not seem like much of a driving emergency, but when a bee is flying at your face or a spider is crawling along the steering wheel, you may think differently. One of the most important things to do is not panic and attempt to swat at the bug. This prevents you from concentrating fully on the road ahead of you. Instead, pull over as quickly as safely as you can. Once off the road, open a window or a door and let the bug out. Keep in mind, they probably don’t want to be in your car any more than you want them there.
Tyre blowouts are scary, and they can happen at any time. They are also an easy way to get into an accident. To prevent this consequence, consider these tips:
- Keep Your Foot Off the Brake- Slamming your foot down on the brake and stopping quickly may seem like the right move, but it will only cause your car to steer into the direction of the blown tyre. This could put you in path of oncoming traffic. Instead, just take your foot off the accelerator and move to the shoulder.
- Concentrate on Steering- A blown tyre affects many car parts, but especially the steering. Hold tightly to the steering wheel and keep it steady. Don’t swerve or jerk the wheel in one direction or another. Make simple, purposeful movements to get off the road.
- Stay Safe- When changing the tyre, place the blown tyre under the vehicle. If the jack slips or isn’t secured properly, the presence of the tyre could save your life.
Accelerators jam for a number of reasons. It could be because of a floor mat bunched under the pedal or a failing Land Rover part. When this happens, however, you aren’t going to be thinking about what is causing it. You’re going to be thinking about how to fix it. If you experience sudden accelerating and find your accelerator is stuck, here’s what to do:
- Never take your eyes off the road. Focus on where you’re going to prevent an accident from occurring.
- Stomp down hard on the accelerator. This might help it become loose and useable again.
- Shift your Land Rover into neutral or turn off the ignition. This may not be good on your engine, but it is certainly better than crashing at a high speed.
- Press on the brake (don’t slam) as you move off onto the shoulder.
It’s very rare for Land Rover parts to catch fire, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. If it happens to you, knowing what to do could mean the difference between life and death. In most cases, it’s the engine that catches fire. However, if you notice smoke coming from beneath your bonnet, don’t stop to wonder what car part might be involved. Instead, pull off the road as quickly and safety as you can. Once you’re over, turn the engine off and exit the vehicle.
Do not open the bonnet. If there is a fire, opening the bonnet will provide it with more oxygen, which will feed the flames and make the situation worse. Instead, get as far away from the Land Rover as possible and call for help. Never attempt to take care of the fire yourself, even if you have a fire extinguisher in the vehicle. There are too many problems that could occur, and you could find yourself injured.
Driving Off the Pavement
At first, driving off the pavement when you’re going down the road doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. The way you correct this error is, however. If you swerve back onto the motorway or rural road quickly, you can lose control of the vehicle and move into oncoming traffic. Instead of doing this, you should:
- Drive straight ahead
- Reduce your speed
- Make sure you have complete control of the Land Rover, then move back onto the roadway at a slow and safe speed
By doing this, you maintain control of the vehicle at all times.
Do you know how to handle yourself in a driving emergency? Have you ever been in one? Share some of your experiences or tips below.