When Things Go South: 5 Worst-Case Scenarios That Can Unfold on the Road and How to Deal with Them


No matter how well prepared you are when you hit the road, you can’t always plan for every contingency. Lightning strike odds still have it hit one person, and when that one person is you, you have to be able to deal with the consequences.

Some of these events you can prepare for and hope they never happen, while others you simply have to take the effects one step at a time. Here are 5 of the worst-case scenarios that may happen while you are driving and how to do the best you can in the aftermath.

When it’s Pretty Far South – 5 Worst Case Road Events

  1. Transmission issues – Everyone knows that transmission trouble can be a death sentence for your car, and when this happens when you are on the road, there’s no slogging your way to the next exit.

If you are driving when your transmission blows, you will likely lose control of your vehicle’s power and be unable to control your speed or gears. Instead of fighting your car, try to get to a stopping point and pull over to a safe spot on the side of the road. At this point, a tow truck is your best friend.

  1. Brake trouble – The most important parts in your car are your brakes, and regular inspection of them is crucial. There are not too many worse feelings than realizing your brakes are not working while you are driving. To keep a calm head if this ever happens to you, remember that the most important thing is not to panic.

Then, try your brakes again and if they still don’t work, slowly engage your emergency brake. If you can, put your car into a lower gear. Pull off the road when you find a safe area and, once you have completely stopped, turn your car off and call for help.

  1. Car accident – No matter how closely you are paying attention to the road, if someone else is not, accidents can happen. Common motor vehicle crashes are when a vehicle is rear-ended or side-swiped, or a front-end collision occurs.

If this worst-case scenario happens to you, pull to the side of the road safely then assess the need for medical help. If anyone is injured, immediately call 911.

Never leave the scene of a car accident, no matter how minor, without calling the authorities to file a police report. Should you need an attorney down the line that specializes in motor vehicle accidents, like Abels & Annes P.C., they may need a police report to win your case for you.

  1. Flat tire – A tire blowout can be life-threatening if it is not handled correctly. Like with your brakes, it is important not to panic. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and never slam on your brakes. Instead, slow down the car gradually and pull to the side of the road when it is safe to do so. Engage your emergency flashers and call for help.
  2. Running out of gas – Not only is this extremely dangerous, but it is also totally preventable. If you are concerned you may run out of gas before the next fueling station, pull over and fill up now.

But if it’s too late and you run out of gas in the middle of the road, turn your hazard lights on immediately and pull over to the side of the road. If you can’t drive to the side, put your car in neutral and push it there once you can safely leave your vehicle.

Set your emergency brake, make sure your hazards are on and call for backup. Keep your phone battery conserved and wait for help.

Worst Case Scenarios Can Happen to Anyone

Many of these situations are preventable with maintenance and attention to your car, but they can happen to anyone. The important thing is to stay calm and follow common sense safety precautions so the worst case scenario doesn’t get…even worse.