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05 Sep 2014
The Emergency Cease by Phil Mann Initially & foremost, the best way to do an emergency halt, is to avoid it in the initially place. How do we do this? An emergency can happen at any speed!! We can avoid it by employing a number of things. Always look and plan well ahead (hazard perception, the earlier we see the problem then the earlier we can react). Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front & always drive at a speed which suits both the traffic and road conditions. You should be able to stop on your side of the road in the distance you can see to be clear. If you do have to do one, then, if you have taken the above advice into account, you may have to brake hard but it should never be a flat out emergency end, otherwise you have not considered one or all of the above points. Firstly, you don't need to check your mirrors. There simply isn't time, however, if you are using them correctly, you should already know whats going on behind & be able to alter your speed and space accordingly. Brake firmly & progressively, keeping both hands on the steering wheel. Depress the clutch pedal after the brake pedal, or at the very least, at the same time. NEVER declutch before braking, as this may cause the car to momentarily speed up. If your car is fitted with ABS (anti lock brake system), keep your foot hard on the brake pedal. You may hear a strange sound and feel a pulse sensation under your right foot, this is normal as the system operates autel maxicheck. If your car is not fitted with ABS and your wheels lock, then you need to manually 'pump' the footbrake, this is known as 'cadence braking.' Almost all newer cars are fitted with ABS. ABS is designed to help you brake & steer at the same time, it will not prevent skidding!! When the car stops completely, apply the parking brake and put the gear stick to neutral, then relax & check your mirrors. When moving off again, as well as checking the mirrors, check the blind spots over BOTH shoulders, as you will be at the very least, in the middle of your lane & not nicely parked at the roadside. When it is safe, consider a signal & move off MaxiSys. The main cause of a skid is the driver, followed by the condition of the vehicle, followed by the road conditions. The 3 main skids are too much brake, too much gas (wheel spin) and harsh steering. To correct a skid, REMOVE THE CAUSE. Lift off the gas, to reduce wheel spin, pump the brake pedal (non ABS) or steer into the skid. Modern technology is playing a big part in vehicle safety these days, ABS, ESP (electronic stability program) etc. ESP has the ability to apply power or brakes to each wheel individually & also inputs to the steering, in an effort to keep the car stable. Ultimately it is down to you, the driver, to keep our roads safe. No amount of technology can ever replace common sense & technology can fail from time to time, so technology should be used as a driver aid rather than a driver replacement. Try this test and see how fast you're really travelling. How far are you travelling at 30 mph? An hour and a mile are usually to big to measure without a speedo or a watch, therefore, 30 mph could be quite meaningless, so try this. Multiply your speed by 1.5 to calculate feet per second (30 x 1.5 = 45 feet per second). Pace out 45 steps by placing one foot directly in front of the other. Even at 1 pace per second it will take you at least 45 secs to pace it out. Have a look at how far you have travelled. This is the distance you travel at 30 mph EVERY SECOND. Hopefully you'll find this quite a sobering thought. Try it at 105 fps (70 mph, the speed on a motorway) Happy Motoring!!
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