What to Do in an Emergency While Driving

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If you have a sudden medical emergency while you are driving, you may not be able to do anything about it. The best thing you can do, in light of American Heart Month, is to take care of yourself the best you can so you hopefully prevent having heart-related incident while you are driving. Those with known heart conditions shouldn’t drive without permission from his or her doctor.

A Medical Emergency That Doesn’t Render You Unconscious

If something happens and you stay conscious, don’t continue to drive. Pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot as soon as you can and call 911. You or someone else can pick up your car later. Not only is it not safe for you to drive, but the issue could be a precursor to something bigger and you definitely don’t want to be driving if you don’t pay attention to that first warning.

If you have a passenger who drives and you are near a hospital, your passenger can drive you to the hospital, but you should not drive under any circumstances.

A Medical Emergency That Renders You Unconscious

There isn’t anything you can do to avoid an accident if you pass out while you’re driving. However, you can try to avoid the incident. If you are not feeling well, don’t drive yourself to the hospital. Call 911. Even if you think it’s something that is not serious, avoid driving as it could be more serious than you think.

If you are a passenger and the driver passes out, put the vehicle in neutral and, if you can, turn on the emergency flashers to warn other drivers. Grab the steering wheel and try to maneuver the vehicle off the road. If you can reach the brake pedal, so much the better. With the vehicle in neutral, it will start to slow down, hopefully enough so that you can avoid other vehicles and obstacles in your way. You can also use the emergency brake to help you slow down by engaging and releasing the brake. Do not leave the emergency brake engaged as it could cause you to spin out.

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