Road Rules

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Driving Emergencies

Driving Emergencies

Always try to get off the road and out of the line of traffic as safely and quickly as possible. If you can’t make it fully off the road, pull over in a high visibility section of road so as to be easily seen by cars.

Brake failure

  • Take your foot off the gas pedal
  • Turn on your hazard lights
  • Maneuver off to the side of the road or use your emergency/parking brake handle 

If you have a manual shift vehicle, are going downhill, and need to slow down but can’t use your brakes, shift down a gear. Do not put your vehicle in neutral because that will not help you to stop! If you have the option to shift down a gear this will allow your engine to help your vehicle to stop. 

Gas pedal failure 

  • Put your car in neutral gear
  • Turn on your hazard lights
  • Maneuver to the side of the road. 

It helps you overcome gas pedal failure BUT it is not a good idea to put your car in neutral gear without good reason or for long. When it is in this gear you won’t have as much control when steering or braking, especially downhill. 🛑

Driving off pavement 

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  • Straighten your wheel
  • Check for traffic behind and in front of you
  • Firmly turn your wheel to get back onto the pavement. 


 Skidding happens when one or more of your tires breaks contact with the road and the vehicle begins to slide. There are three steps to stop skidding after it has begun. 

  1. Remove your foot from the gas or brake pedal. Do NOT use the brakes! 
  2. Turn your steering wheel in the direction of the turn (the skid)
  3. You will begin to slow down and the vehicle will be able to make contact with the road again
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If the pavement is very wet you may need an additional step. 

  1. As the vehicle slows try to gently steer it toward the shoulder of a road or toward dry pavement.

If you have reached a full stop and are out of the skid but notice your brakes feel wet, a final step may be needed. 

  1. To dry your brakes, press the gas and brake pedals at the same time, causing the brakes to dry because of the pressure. Do not do this for a prolonged period of time. 

Skidding can send your vehicle in a circle or in an “S” pattern. The rules are the same for both.

Locked wheel skidding

It happens when you slam on your brakes too hard. 

  • If your car has anti-lock braking (ABS) – Take your foot off the brake and keep a firm grip on the wheel. 
  • If you do not have ABS – Press on the brake pedal gradually.
    • If you notice the pedal goes down to the floor you will need to pump your brake pedal and then put the car in neutral gear before applying your emergency brake (the stick next to your gear shift). 


Animals on the road that are being herded or shepherded across by a human should be protected by slowing to a stop and allowing the person to guide their animals across the road. 

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  • If an animal jumps out in front of you, do not swerve to avoid hitting it because this could put you in the path of oncoming traffic or other vehicles around you.