Cars these days tend to be a lot more reliable than my first car, an old banger that had a manual choke and didn’t like to start in most weather conditions, including rain, a common predicament in this country.
It makes it easy to forget, that sometimes we need to pull over, and here are my top ten reasons why it is sometimes completely necessary.
1) Flashing lights: if the police are signaling you to pull over, it would be a strong recommendation of mine to pull over safely. It may just be that you have a light out, but we’ve all seen the repeats of the cop programmes, and therefore know what happens if you don’t pull over.
2) Losing something: this encompasses a vast range of things, from a wheel shooting off when you are heading down the motor way at speed, to dropping a CD in the car. If the wheel falls off, pull over. If your CD falls under the passenger seat and it is absolutely imperative that you listen to your favourite Wham! CD, then pull over. Likewise an article in the news this week, a woman was shaving her bikini line when driving, and caused a pile up. Pull over!
3) Flames: I would think this was a pretty obvious one, but if you see flames, stop driving. Unless you want to be part of a human fondue experiment, get out and as far away from the car as soon as you possibly can.
4) Smoke: Mainly as this is often a pre curser to flames, but smoke is generally not a good sign, especially if it is coming from under the bonnet.
5) Smells: OK, so it could be the dog, or driving past a farm, but if you smell something that you haven’t smelt in the car before, like burning or petrol, then pull over and have a look. Burning is generally linked to flames and smoke, so stop the car!
6) Not being able to see: whether it be that there is pouring rain, fog or snow, get it cleared. A lot of people this year experienced the following problem, after meticulously scraping the windscreen of snow ready to go to work, they got half way and the massive chunk slid of the roof, covering the windscreen again. Not good if you’re hammering down the M25 on your way to work. Pull over and sort it out before putting everyone’s life at risk.
7) Bangs: OK, you may have just run over the cola bottle that the man in front of you chucked out of his window, but you may have also popped a tyre or lost your engine.
8) Feeling Ill: if you don’t feel right, don’t continue to drive. You may have a migraine, need a wee or be having something more serious, like a heart attack, but illness is a great cause of accidents in the UK. People ploughing into other cars when not having full concentration is terrible and can lead to loss of lives.
9) Sleepiness: As with feeling ill, if you are tired, wind the window down to get some fresh air, and pull over as soon as you can. Have a rest. Don’t kill someone.
10) Changes in handling: if your power steering suddenly goes, or lights start flashing, pull over and check your manual. These are safety features to protect you, and wouldn’t be twinkling like Christmas lights unnecessarily.
On the whole, use your initiative! And it’s imperative that you have a Car Insurance policy for the eventuality that something goes wrong.