Women drivers get a bad rap. They have a reputation for being easily distracted, unfamiliar with the rules of the road, and all-around bad drivers.
But let’s put that stereotype back in the fifties where it belongs. Women are actually better drivers than men much of the time, and their lower insurance rates show it.
TrueCar.com recently asked six female race car drivers for driving tips, and they talked about six different emergency driving scenarios.
If you happen to hydroplane, driver Verena Mai encourages you to keep a firm grip on your wheel and your wits. Ease off the accelerator, but don’t hit the brake until your tires regain traction with the ground. If you spin out, steer in the direction of the spin until you regain traction.
To prevent hydroplaning, try driving in the tracks of the cars in front of you.
2. The Car Stalls While Driving
Driver Shea Holbrook knows how scary it can be when your car stalls while you’re driving. Stay calm, turn on your hazard lights, and try restarting your car while it’s still moving. If that doesn’t work, use your car’s momentum to pull over to the shoulder. If you can’t make it to the shoulder, DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR. Call 911 and stay in the car until help arrives.
3. The Tire Tread Separates From the Tire
Tire tread separation can be even more frightening than a blowout. The separated tread can cause a lot of damage to your car and can even cause you to lose control of your car. Driver Ashley Freiberg advises you to ease off the accelerator and to apply the brake cautiously and gradually until you’re able to pull over to the side of the road and get help.
4. Braking in Emergencies
Accidents can happen to anybody, and that includes hitting something with your car. Whether it’s another car, a dog, or even a child, you want to know how to safely bring your car to a stop in a hurry. ABS brakes can make this much easier, but driver Shannon McIntosh knows that not every car is equipped with this technology. You want to brake hard enough to come to a quick stop, but not so hard that your tires skid. She recommends practicing in an empty parking lot until you get a good feel for how your vehicle reacts to sudden stops.
If you lose control of your brakes, do your best to steer away from traffic and people. If necessary, sideswipe the guardrail on the road until you’ve slowed enough to apply the emergency hand or foot brake.
5. The Accelerator Gets Stuck
Driver Emilee Tominovich knows just what to do in this scary scenario. First, take your foot off the brake — you may be stomping the accelerator on accident! If not, reach down to see if anything’s wedged underneath your acceleratorNext, put your car in neutral. It’ll cut power from your engine to your wheels so that you can apply the brake. As a last resort, you can turn off your engine by turning the key to the “off” position. It’ll be harder to steer and brake, but it’ll be possible.
6. Tire Blowout
Driver Katherine Legge emphasizes: DON’T PANIC. You may hear a loud boom, but this is a common roadside hazard. Just take your foot off the accelerator and wait until your car slows down enough and you can safely apply the brake. If you’re on the freeway, it might be best to stay in your car and wait for help instead of getting out and trying to change your tire yourself.
And in case there’s any damage done to your car, make sure that you have a good auto insurance policy! Then, you’ll not only be protected during your roadside emergency, but afterwards as well.
Take these tips to heart, and you’ll be “driving like a girl” before you know it — and, hopefully, enjoying a lower insurance premium as a result!