You’re cruising down the highway, listening to your favourite song on FM and your pet Labrador’s piled up on the front seat of your car. Suddenly your instincts force you to perk up your nostrils. The smell and site of fumes permeate all your senses. Now, don’t waste time trying to recall whether you stubbed your cigarette butt or not. Just act fast and leave the sleuthing for later. • Immediately stop the vehicle and proceed to switch off the engine. • Instruct all passengers to get out and stand far away from the vehicle. • Hopefully you’re carrying a fire extinguisher. Well, what are you waiting for? Use! • Disconnect the battery terminals if possible. • Pull out any burning wires by using jack handle, or a stick etc. • Try to extinguish the burning wires with a large piece of cloth. • Never touch a burning wire with bare hands, as electric burns can be very serious. • Water can be used on wood, paper or cloth, but do not use water on an electric fire (you can get shock) or a gasoline fire (it will spread the flames). • A burning tyre must be cooled by using lots of water. • Cover the fire with mud, dirt or sand, if available nearby. • If the fire is not extinguished in spite of these actions, it is better to get away from the vehicle, as the fuel tank may explode.
Once the fire has been thoroughly extinguished try to familiarize yourself with the most common causes of car fires: • Leaking fuel/oil. • Improperly loaded or sealed inflammable cargo • Under inflated tyres • Short circuits in the electrical system • Cabin fire due to smoking.
You’re cruising down a highway, stepping on the accelerator, as there are no vehicles in front of you. But keep reminding yourself that there are stray animals out there--- cows, buffaloes, dogs --- which were never told that roads were meant for driving. If you see an animal from a distance, slow down and approach with caution and mistrust. For, just as you feel that you’re going to pass the beast, it may think of quickening its pace or doing an about turn. It’s not only the animal’s life you should be worried about. In any trial of strength with a cow or a buffalo, the beast will always win (unless you drive a truck). Whenever you see an animal from afar, think of it as a ton of meat with a brain the size of the walnut on the move.
Driving is supposed to be pleasurable…until you crash!
Accident rates are triple at night. We list out some essentials dos for night driving, follow them for safer driving.
• Besides the natural phenomenon of darkness, that adds to the hazard, alcohol, fatigue, drowsiness and carelessness contribute to an accident in their small ways. Alcohol is ‘THE’ factor that plays an important part in more than half of the crashes at night. Weekend night driving is that much more dangerous. So do not drink and drive. Even one drink can induce fatigue. Also when you feel drowsy, your concentration levels and reflexes are not as sharp. Alcohol also acts as a depressant and evenone drink can induce fatigue.
• Twilight is one of the most dangerous times to drive. Your eyes have to constantly keep adjusting to the failing light and you also need to discern the traffic around you. Remember that others need to see you just as you need to see others so if you feel uncomfortable turn on your headlights.
• Some drivers do not lower their beams. If you watch the right edge of the road as a steering guide you can avoid the glare.
• Reduce your speed and increase your following distances. It is more difficult to judge other vehicle's speeds and distances at night