(State of Colorado)


10. Emergencies


10.2. Vehicle emergencies

There is always a chance of a vehicle problem while driving. You should follow the recommended maintenance schedule listed in the vehicle owner's manual. Following these preventive measures greatly reduces the chance your vehicle will have a problem. The following section notes some possible vehicle failures and what you can do if they happen.

10.2a BRAKE FAILURE: Pump the brake pedal several times. This will often build up enough brake pressure to allow you to stop. If that does not work, use the parking brake. Pull on the parking brake handle slowly so you will not lock the rear wheels and cause a skid. Be ready to release the brake if the vehicle does start to skid.

If that does not work, start shifting to lower gears and look for a safe place to slow to a stop. Make sure the car is off the roadway. Don't drive the vehicle without brakes.

10.2b TIRE BLOWOUT: Hold the steering wheel tightly, and keep the vehicle going straight. Slow down gradually. Take your foot off the gas pedal and use the brakes lightly. Do not stop on the road if at all possible. Pull off the road in a safe place.

10.2c POWER FAILURE: Keep a strong grip on the steering wheel. Be aware that the steering may be difficult to turn but you can turn it. Pull off the roadway. The brakes will still work but you may have to push very hard on the brake pedal.

10.2d HEADLIGHT FAILURE: Try the headlight switch a few times. If that does not work, put on the emergency flashers, turn signals, or fog lights, if you have them. Pull off the road as soon as possible.

10.2e JAMMED GAS PEDAL: Keep your eyes on the road. Quickly shift to neutral. Pull off the road when safe to do so. Turn off the engine.

10.2f DRIVING OFF THE PAVEMENT: If your right wheels run off the pavement edge, do not use your brakes. Do not try to pull sharply back onto the pavement. Take your foot off the accelerator, steer straight ahead, straddling the pavement edge, until the car has almost stopped. Then turn and guide your car back onto the road.


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