Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Prepare Yourself for that Split Second

It only takes a split second for your tires to drop off the roadway and your life to flash before your eyes. That’s what happened to a friend of mine and her two children recently while they were out in their vehicle not far from home and ended up in a run-off road crash.

When a car runs off the road, many drivers panic and overcorrect causing the driver to lose control of the car. My friend lost control of her sports utility vehicle and ended up flipping it. Thankfully, everyone was buckled and the kids came out without any injuries at all while she only had a broken collarbone. While we all think we’re good drivers, a crash can happen anytime, so it’s better to be prepared.

Run-off-road crashes are a big concern in Missouri. In fact, they attribute to 50 percent of all traffic fatalities. Luckily, a new public service announcement from the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety aims to educate the public on how to recover from run-off-the-road crashes without overcorrecting. Both the 30-second PSA and a two-minute instructional video are available at

The trick to protecting your life and the lives of others in these crashes is: • Remain calm; don’t panic and overcorrect. • Keep a firm grip on the wheel. • Ease off the gas and stay off brake. • Turn your wheel 1/8th turn to the left. • When you feel your tires hit pavement again, turn wheel 1/4 turn to the right. • Now breathe. You just prevented a run-off-road crash.