10 Driving Situations You Don’t Want to Be In
By: Shelby Fix, Car Coach 2.0™
1. Getting a flat tire in the middle of a snowstorm
No one wants to be in this situation, ever. First of all, it’s freezing outside, and there is snow flying everywhere, plus you’re never dressed appropriately.
Make sure you check your tire pressure once a month to improve fuel economy, safety, handling, braking and tire life.
Tip: Always match the pressure for the tire with the correct pressure located on a sticker inside your driver’s door. You should also make sure you carry a tire inflation product in your trunk, so you don’t have to get under your car on the cold wet ground and change a tire.
2. Dead battery
This is probably the most annoying thing to deal with, especially when you have somewhere important to go. Unfortunately, most people don’t carry a Pikachu with them.
Make sure you have a pair of jumper cables or a jump-starter (like this: PEAK) in your car.
Tip: A dying battery will most likely fail on one of the coldest or hottest days, especially if a battery is more than a couple of years old. Check frequently for a buildup of corrosion. If you need a new one, go to an auto parts store and have them install it for free (after you pay for the product of course).
Next time, you won’t have to use the excuse of a dead battery to miss the family reunion.
3. Not being able to see out of your windshield
Brooms are meant to sweep the floors, not your windows.
Replace wiper blades – it’s easy to do it yourself. Remember, 80% of your driving decisions are based on visibility.
Tip: Switch to flat blades – they can be used all-year-round.
BONUS: Auto part stores will replace air filters, batteries, and wiper blades free of charge when you purchase them.
4. Too far from the gas pump?
It’s more than just finding the best price on the cheapest gas, it’s being on the correct side of your gas tank.
Using the right type of gasoline for your vehicle is more important than you think. Not only is it critical to use the recommended octane (regular, midgrade or premium gasoline), but it’s also important to make sure your fuel has enough cleaning agents to protect your engine.
5. Blasting music to the point where you can’t hear what’s going on around you
It’s not the police siren in the background of the music.
Yeah, the music may be a head bobber and a trunk shaker, but the louder the music, the less you hear what’s going on around you; such as emergency vehicles, police cars, an engine problem, or another car on the road. Turn it down.
6. Blind spots
Source: College Humor
Last time I checked, putting on make-up didn’t require your side view mirror.
Be aware of blind spots: look before you make the decision to change lanes. Remember what you learned in drivers-ed. Use your turn signals so people know when you are turning or if you are changing lanes.
7. Texting while driving
Texting and driving is a very dangerous thing to do. I know we’ve all seen the commercials telling you stories of the kids who have gotten hurt, but they never mention the adults hurt from texting and driving accidents.
While teenagers are linked to most of the texting and driving accidents, adults get in accidents because of texting as well. Teens AND adults are to blame for texting and driving. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have, anything could happen in the split second you look away from the road.
What drivers can do now is prevent themselves from being distracted by cell phones while driving. Just put down the phone for the duration of the drive. Nothing is more important than your life, or that of someone else.
To show your commitment, you can take the pledge to not text and drive; It Can Wait!
8. Locking your keys in your car
You don’t need to get THAT pissed off.
It’s getting harder to lock yourself out of your car nowadays, but it’s useful to carry a spare car key in your wallet, just in case.
A backup plan is to call roadside assistance; depending on the make of your car, they may or may not be able to help you. If you are really in a bind, you may have to contact the closest auto dealer that sells the make of your car, and hopefully they can cut you a replacement key.
9. If your dash is lighting up like a Christmas tree
Uh, yeah, your dash isn’t supposed to have most of these lights on.
Some cars come with a set of gauges, while others only have a set of “dash lights” that remind the driver when the engine is already overheating or when it’s dangerously low in oil or oil pressure. If the gauges go out of the normal range or the dash lights ever come on, pull over at the next safe location and call for advice.
Check all the fluids (oil, coolant/anti-freeze, power steering, transmission, brake).
Tip: If the fluids are low you can have a certified technician do the work or check the owner’s manual and top it off with the correct fluid.
BONUS: Always use an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified technician do the work. The blue patch is the on the sleeve of the tech or on a sign in front of the shop. A Master ASE technician is the best choice.
10. Parking brake
Using your parking brake is very important, as it prevents your car from rolling down a hill. If your car ever begins to roll down a hill, you’re going to have a bad day. The only way to prevent this from happening is to use your parking brake.