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Overcoming your driving fears

It’s spooky season and we know that for even the most experienced drivers, there are aspects of being behind the…


Read length: 4 minutes

It’s spooky season and we know that for even the most experienced drivers, there are aspects of being behind the wheel that can be a bit scary. Whether it’s having to parallel park in front of a queue of traffic or facing a busy, multiple exit roundabout, no one can master every part of driving, so having a driving fear is normal.

To help you overcome your driving fears and prepare for some of the situations many drivers find hair-raising, here three scary driving scenarios and how to survive them.

Facing an animal in the road

The best way to deal with an animal on the road is to be aware of your surroundings and situation.

Look for signs of increased animal activity such as specified crossings or road signs, and travel at the correct speed. If there is an animal on the road, do everything you can to avoid hitting it. As long as this doesn’t cause danger to other motorists – otherwise you are likely to be liable for any damage.

If it’s unavoidable and you do hit the animal, stay calm, pull over and make sure you’re safe. If you have hit an animal the size of a dog or larger, you must report it to the police. For all animals, assuming it’s safe to do so, look for a collar or signs of ownership. If you’re unsure what to do contact the RSPCA’s emergency line.

Driving near impaired drivers

It can be difficult to spot an impaired driver, but here are some potential warning signs:

  • Driving in the centre of the road
  • Weaving or zigzagging across the road
  • Swerving or abruptly turning
  • Driving much too slowly
  • Erratic braking
  • Signalling that is inconsistent with driving actions
  • Slowly reacting to traffic signals

If you suspect that you’re sharing the road with a drunk or impaired driver, you need to drive defensively. Slow down to a safe speed and be ready to take quick action. Be sure to keep your distance from the vehicle in front or pull over to let it past if it’s behind.

Do not attempt to follow or stop the vehicle and remain focused on your driving. As soon as possible, but when safe to do so, call 999 and give a clear description of the location, vehicle, and driver.

Breaking down on a motorway

Breaking down is always scary, but having it happen on a motorway can add an extra fear factor.

If possible, try and get off the busy road, but if it’s unavoidable, try and get as far left as possible and turn the wheels to the left. Make sure your hazard lights are on, and if it’s dark turn your sidelights to help other drivers see you.

Get to a safe place – behind a barrier or on the bank at the side of the road, but only exit the vehicle if it’s safe to do so. Then you need to call for assistance, use your mobile or follow the arrows and walk to an emergency phone on side of the road.

While you are waiting for assistance, do not attempt to fix the car if this puts you in danger. Do not remove pets from the car or walk too far from your vehicle even if you’re behind a barrier.

If you breakdown on a smart motorway, here are the 5 steps you should follow according to the AA:

  1. Get to an emergency refuge area (ERA)
  2. If you can’t, try to get to the leftmost lane.
  3. If it’s safe, exit your car on the left and wait behind the barrier
  4. If you break down in a live lane, stay in the car with your seat belt on
  5. Call for help

Being prepared and knowing what to do can stop any driving scenario from being too scary.

Remember, a great first step to preparing yourself for driving is to get the right insurance for your situation. If you’re looking for flexible temporary insurance with no long-term commitments – choose temporary car insurance or temporary van insurance.

Avoid the fear of driving without the right insurance. Get the cover you need with Tempcover now in just 90 seconds and get complete peace of mind on the road.

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