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12 SIGNS YOU SHOULD PULL OVER

Cars have become increasingly reliable. So reliable that it’s easy to forget they can break down and that emergencies can occur while driving. As a reminder, here are the 12 symptoms that mean it’s time to pull over:

1

Flashing lights

If you seeing flashing lights from an emergency vehicle or the police in your rearview mirror, you must pull over. This one’s well known, but make sure you actually do it!

2

Flames

If you see flames coming from any part of your car, pull over and get to a safe distance from your car. When flames come from your car, you may be inhaling dangerous fumes as well – all the more reason to pull over and get out.

3

Seeing smoke

If you see smoke coming from your car, pull over and turn off your engine. Many things can cause smoke and some of them can be serious. Where there’s smoke, fire often follows. Best to be safe.

4

Sudden change in handling

If your steering wheel starts to wobble or pull to one side unexpectedly, it’s best to pull over. A number of things may cause this sudden change – something benign like a change in the road’s surface or something serious like a wheel about to fall off. Rather than guessing what the problem may be, pull over and inspect the situation.

5

Loud or sudden noise

Your car shouldn’t make loud, sudden noises. So, if it does, pull over and check out the situation. It may be nothing – you may have just run over an empty water bottle – but it could be serious. Inspect your car for any obvious issues.

6

Poor visibility

Good visibility is essential to safe driving. Yet, sometimes we choose to continue driving when our lack of visibility makes it dangerous to do so. Whether you’ve forgotten to clear your windshield of ice and snow or you’ve suddenly found yourself in dense fog, pull over. Fix the problem if you can and/or wait for the road conditions to improve.

7

Temperature or oil light

Both of these are very serious indicators. A loss of oil pressure can cause an engine to stall within minutes while having your engine overheat can cause its head gaskets to crack and warp cylinders. These damages can require deep dives into your wallet. Keep your hard-earned money by pulling over when you see either one of these indicator lights turn on.

8

Steaming up

Steam in your car is usually a sign that coolant is leaking from your car’s cooling system. The rate at which the coolant is leaking determines the gravity of the situation, yet it’s hard to know how much is leaking. Thus, it’s best to play it safe and pull over and find a certified professional that can evaluate the situation.

9

Medical emergency

If you think you’re having a medical emergency, pull over. A medical emergency like a stroke or heart attack could cause you to lose control of your body and car. This event would put you and other drivers in serious danger.

10

Behind-the-wheel fatigue

Most of us have been there. It’s late at night and you’re driving home, exhausted. Each blink is heavier than the one before it. It’s getting tougher to keep your eyes open. Your 90s music playlist isn’t even helping. If you’re ever feeling this tired while driving, pull over. Driving while extremely tired not only puts you in danger, but those around you as well. It’s just not worth it.

11

Distractions, distractions

While cars are extremely reliable, their operators are not. Often, we get distracted. We may be trying to stop children from fighting in the back seat or trying to locate the wallet that just fell into a crack between our chair and the door. In both cases, and other similar situations, it’s best to pull over. Our multi-tasking abilities are not as good as we think, so don’t risk it.

12

Something stinks

Everyone’s car has a unique smell; for some it’s forever fresh, for many others it’s a mix of leftover meals and smelly sox. These recognizable smells are fine. But if you smell a new, unusual smell while driving, it’s best to pull over and investigate it. If you smell any peculiar smell, you shouldn’t ignore it.

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