You study the driver’s manual, and you demonstrate your driving skills in a road test. When you get your license, it means you’re knowledgeable enough to drive – but it’s no substitute for experience. Every driver – whether young or old, experienced or inexperienced – will encounter problems at some time or another, and they need to know what to do. Here are the five most common driving incidents and how to handle them safely and efficiently.
What to Do in a Fender Bender
If possible, move your car out of traffic. Turn on your flashing lights, and call the police to report the accident. You and the other driver should exchange insurance and contact information. You should never admit fault to the other driver or to the police, even if you did cause the accident. Take pictures with your cell phone, and notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible.
What to Do When Stopped by Police
When you see police lights behind you, pull over to the side of the road. Roll down your window, and turn off your car. Wait for the officer to approach your vehicle. Keep your hands visible, and retrieve your ID, registration, and insurance after asked. Don’t be visibly annoyed or angry, and do not argue with the police officer. The more cooperative you are, the sooner your stop will be over. Being polite – and sorry for your offense – might even help you avoid a ticket.
What to Do When Your Car Needs Repairs
If you know the problem, do some research to find out how much repairs might cost. Try to find the best mechanic in your area by asking trusted friends and family members, as well as reading local reviews online. When you take your car in, get an estimate before you allow work to be done. Call other repair shops in your area and get a few more quotes in order to compare prices.
What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down
Pull your car out of traffic if you’re able to, and turn on your flashing lights. If possible, identify the problem. If you can’t fix it on your own, call roadside assistance to help you. Depending on the condition, you may need to call a towing company. While waiting on the side of the road, the safest place to be is inside of your vehicle, so remain there until help arrives.
How to Drive in Inclement Weather
When the weather conditions are bad, you need to drive more carefully than ever. Slow down to an appropriate speed, and leave more distance between you and the car ahead of you. Don’t try to pass anyone. If driving is very difficult, pull over on the side of the road, turn on your flashing lights, and wait until the weather calms. If you’re skidding, don’t slam on your brakes; pump your brakes. Even if it’s only a daytime shower, when your windshield wipers are on, always turn your headlights on.