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Forums > Social Chat > Handbrake failure Or what to do when the worse happens.

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DrBoo
BRONZE Member since Oct 2005

DrBoo

I invented the decaffinated coffee table.
Location: Cornwall

Total posts: 453
Posted:So. It was yesterday. I park my car on a hill in a housing estate to go and visit a client.



I turn back to the car to get some notes from my car and see that it is beginning to roll.... I grab my keys and, using the remote locking, try to get in the door. My remote locking doesn't work and the car picks up speed. I am pulling at the door handle, and trying to slow the car down...at the bottom of the hill children are playing in the road and there is a row of houses - my car is heading straight for all of them.

It picks up more speed. No way can I stop it now.

I start yelling for help, a guy washing his car joins me chasing mine.



Incredibly, the kids move out of the way and the car comes to rest on a kerb at the bottom of the hill - not in someone's front room.

I am barely scathed - just very very shaken - although I had to hospital last night as we thought I'd broken my finger - but it's just a bit ripped and bruised (although I think I may have done some internal damage to it, maybe the top got dislocated? Whatever, it hurts like Hell. I need it to be more serious than a bruise! And it's making typing a little slow frown).



So my question/basis for this thread is this - worse case scenarios. What should I have done when the worse happened?

OK - in this case it's pretty obvious - pull the handbrake tighter (I blame my bloke for stretching the cable), point my tyres to the kerb, put it in gear, and not chased after my car like a loon. redface



But what of other near misses? What should you do, or what did you do?

Anyone got some survival advice that could help us in an emergency?




We may owe you ours lives one day. Or at least our fingers.



I have done a search for a thread like this, if I missed it, I apologise and expect to be castigated. wink


Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?

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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:there's not a great deal you can do if a vehicle starts rolling down a hill unfortunatly hug

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Gnor
BRONZE Member since Mar 2003

Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth

Total posts: 5814
Posted:Amazing..I just went through with my kids what to do when they are in a car that starts rolling. It happened to me as a kid and the car just got a dinged door..and one spooked kid. Lucky I knew about handbrakes. wink

Youve learnt from this....best teacher is life.


Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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[noodles]


[noodles]

*Property of Pigeon Wigeon*
Location: Locked In Pigeons Chimney

Total posts: 893
Posted:Yeah my friend learnt to always leave the car in gear if parked on a hill the hard way too.

Could somebody stop the room please... I'd like to get off

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Mr_Chutney
SILVER Member since Apr 2003

Mr_Chutney

Tosser
Location: Herefordshire

Total posts: 1711
Posted:When I was little (4 or 5 I think) my mum parked outside our house in a cul de sac and quickly popped inside to get something she'd forgotten. Being the inquisitive type, I found a lever with a button on it quite interesting, and moments later the car was gently gliding down the road.

It was too slow to really go anywhere, but it certainly suprsed my mother who had to walk alongside the car and put the handbrake back on.

Sorry, it was sort of topical smile


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ducky2108


ducky2108

A little bit of a board whore
Location: Glasgow

Total posts: 147
Posted:I always leave my car in gear when I'm parked, as it reduces the risk of roll. Not sure how well it would work on a steep hill but I still do it.

I suppose you could also try pointing the wheels towards or away from the kerb, but you'd have to make sure the steering lock kicks in, as otherwise I'd expect it to just straighten out when it starts to roll.

Far easier to just keep it in gear in my eyes. It does annoy the boyfriend though when he gets in to drive and it jumps cos he's not realised it in gear.


Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"

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Sym
BRONZE Member since Sep 2004

Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk

Total posts: 1858
Posted:as a form of prevention keep it in gear would work, but if you've not done that you're going to have to think of something fast...

tryin to get in the car may or may not be a good idea - if you're on a busy street then it might get hit whilst you're trying to get in or you're in, and that would be very bad for you (and the other person, but they would have hit the car if you were in it or not). I guess trying to alert people by flagging down cars etc would be the best thing.

if you do get in the car, the chances of both break systems failing are low, so just use them. you could also use the gears to slow it down - putting it in a high gear will force the engine to turn and slow it down - think of push starting a car, it's always harder when it's in gear.

Either way, it's all very bad, and you'd have to think quickly to do anything.

I'm glad you're more or less ok - it could have gone so wrong :S

hug hug hug hug


There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees

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Igirisujin
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

Igirisujin

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Preston

Total posts: 2666
Posted:Oh the same thing happend to me we used to live on a farm and my mum parked the car (heap of junk that it was) and got out to move the wheely bin, the handbrake failed and rolled straight for her and hit her, I had to go get my dad because i didnt know which pedal was the brake. Then I got blamed for it, mum decided the car couldnt have been at fault I must have been jumpig up and down in the back seat umm

Chief adviser to the Pharaoh, in one very snazzy mutli-coloured coat

'Time goes by so slowly for those who wait...' - Whatever Happend To Baby Madonna?

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DrBoo
BRONZE Member since Oct 2005

DrBoo

I invented the decaffinated coffee table.
Location: Cornwall

Total posts: 453
Posted:OK then.
If we're all agreed that you should always park your car in gear and point the wheels to the kerb - just in case - and don't chase the car like I did. I was lucky only to mess up my finger, if I'd have tripped I could have gone under the wheels.

What about how to cope with all the other dramatic things that could go wrong?

Anyone know how to get out of a sinking car? What to do when your car is hanging over the edge of a cliff? What if the brakes fail, what should you do? If you're driving on ice and start to spin, do you turn into or away from the spin?

Not that I'm paranoid about cars now (although my clutch cable snapped while I was overtaking on a nasty stretch of road last year, so my latest experiences are making me somewhat dubious about their safety)....
if you know any other life or limb saving tips, let's hear them! :D


Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?

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GeoffonTour04
SILVER Member since Nov 2005

enthusiast
Location: Oxford

Total posts: 360
Posted:Stay calm smile

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Igirisujin
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

Igirisujin

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Preston

Total posts: 2666
Posted:Use busses smile, allthough if you spin for whatever reason you turn into it and pump your brakes instead of slamming on them.

Chief adviser to the Pharaoh, in one very snazzy mutli-coloured coat

'Time goes by so slowly for those who wait...' - Whatever Happend To Baby Madonna?

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ducky2108


ducky2108

A little bit of a board whore
Location: Glasgow

Total posts: 147
Posted:If you're stuck in a sinking car, you have to wait whilst the car fills up with water. Then, the pressure inside and out is equalised, and you should be able to open the door. Take your seat belt off as soon as possible. It may be necessary to break a window to get out, but again, wait til the car has filled with water (you may need to hold your breath)

Teetering on the edge of a cliff, well, you have to get out of the car. Ideally, you should try and get into the back of the car before you get out, as this way you'll put more weight over the bit over the cliff. This will not work if you have reversed over the cliff, in which case you should probably get out at the front.

On ice, when in a skid, you should steer into the skid, but not too much. By steering into the skid, you regain control of the car. However, you must be aware that just because you are in control, it doesn't mean that the car is pointing in the direction you want it to be going. Also, if skidding, you shouldn't break. try and use engine breaking to slow you down.

Please note, these are just my tips. These are in no way endorsed by anyone. Two on the three, I haven't even tested. The other one saved my life, but wrote off my car.


Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"

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Mr_Chutney
SILVER Member since Apr 2003

Mr_Chutney

Tosser
Location: Herefordshire

Total posts: 1711
Posted:If brakes fail: don't panic- you can significantly slow the car down using the gears (downshifting at high revs), and once slow enough, the handbrake can be applied to stop the car on a hard should. Also, you should pump the brakes to see if you can get any power back.

If you get a blow out: usually the car will make a lurch as a tyre gives out and the temptation is to steer quickly and dramatically in the opposite dirction, often leading to a high speed spin or movement into another lane which is extremely dangerous. Instead, keep the steering straight and move to the hard shoulder as quickly as is safely possible, then stop and assess the damage.


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pricklyleaf
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

pricklyleaf

with added berries
Location: Manchester

Total posts: 1365
Posted:ooo, now I'm wondering what death defying stunt you pulled off in you car ducky, I'm guessing one was the ice, but what is the other one?

I used to have a recurring dream of my car brakes failing, in various situations. They always terrified me and left me feeling a bit rubbish the next day.

Eventually I found out that if your car brakes fail, there are quite a few things that you can do.

As said above you can use the gears, and pump the brakes. This would be the first thing you try, and is preferble to the more extreme options below.

I also heard, that in an absolute emergency, if there is a sturdy fence (the king they have on motorways) running alongside the road (preferbly the one in the hard sholder if its a motorway), then you can cautiously skim the side of the fence to slow you down. It does however ruin the side of your car, and is very risky, but if its that or hitting a wall, Iknow which one I'd choose.

You can also try to find a vehicle bigger than yours, who is currently travelling at about the same speed as you and drive into the back of them. They can then use their brakes to slow the both of you down. Obviously they need to know what you are about to do for this to work. And the vehicle can't be so big, eg. a lorry, that you end up going underneath them.

If nothing else works, and you are about to go off a cliff, then just hit something, like a tree. If theres no one in the passenger side, then try and hit it towards, but not compleatly on that side.

These could be completely wrong things to do, they're just what I read, but at least its put my nightmares to rest for now.


Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:Regarding the situation where your parking brake fails and your car is rolling down a hill, another option is trying to find something to throw under a wheel to make the car stop moving.



Is it worth throwing one of the kids under a wheel to save the rest? I'll leave that question up to someone else. ubbloco


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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:Written by: ducky2108

If you're stuck in a sinking car, you have to wait whilst the car fills up with water. Then, the pressure inside and out is equalised, and you should be able to open the door. Take your seat belt off as soon as possible. It may be necessary to break a window to get out, but again, wait til the car has filled with water (you may need to hold your breath)





winding the window down helps too wink


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ducky2108


ducky2108

A little bit of a board whore
Location: Glasgow

Total posts: 147
Posted:For some reason, I don't think you can wind down the window. I have no idea why though.

Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"

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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:not even if it's not electric?confused




(sorry i have been....er.........hearbalising hehe )


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misscorinthian
SILVER Member since Sep 2005

misscorinthian

old hand
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 784
Posted:Ahem- accordint to "extreme survival" you need to open the window as soon as you enter the water, as this is your best chance of escape. Otherwise, do what ducky said. You are also advised to drive with your windows and doors slightly open when driving near water or on ice. Apparently.

I actually have a little book on how to survive disasters like that. I thought it looked interesting but it was boring as hell I never got far with it. I expect I shall regret that. Ah well.....


XLenX

Devoted although mostly absent owner of the 1, the original... Asena

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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:the hardest thing to deal with when "ditching" a car is thermal shock, it will spin you out BIG time, it's advisable to stay as calm and think rationaly as possible

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misscorinthian
SILVER Member since Sep 2005

misscorinthian

old hand
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 784
Posted:If your parachute fails to open, signal to one of you companions, grab hold of their waist, and both go down under their chute.

How can I put that politely....umm...nope..


XLenX

Devoted although mostly absent owner of the 1, the original... Asena

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OrangeBobo
SILVER Member since Nov 2003

OrangeBobo

veteran
Location: Guelph, ON, Canada

Total posts: 1389
Posted:If your vehicle is beginning to roll down a hill, don't jump in front of it to stop it!

A true story I heard, was about a woman who was delivering some prescription drugs in her company Smart car. Smart cars aren't big. Puny in fact, like a box on 4 little wheels... Anywho, her Smart car started rolling, so she jumped in front of it to stop it..! It rolled over her and broke her leg! Who would have known those environmentally friendly cars could be so small yet vicious!!

ubblol

~ Bobo


wie weit, wie weit noch?
fragst mich, wo wir gewesen sind...
du fehlst hier

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Eera


old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:I flipped a car at 120kph a few moths ago. I remember the back end fishtailing, then being on my roof, with loads of sparks coming in through the shattered windscreen. I was still picking molten window seal and broken glass out of my hair 3 days later.

I was coming back form a minesite and for some reason put all my gear in the back of the ute rather than in the passenger's footwell, so the things that could have done me damage like my geological hammer, steel spikes and esky got thrown clear rather than impacting on me.

So, what did I learn?
Keep sharp and heavy stuff out of the body of the car, in the boot or tray back.

If you have a ute get reinforcement welded to the back of the cab. If it wasn't for the angle steel bar which you have to have, to get on a minesite, I'd be dead, I have no doubts of that.

When bad things happen, they happen *fast*. Don't get into those situations in the first place.

Love every second of life, because it sure as hell can end in an instant.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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FoxInDocs
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

FoxInDocs

Pooh-Bah
Location: Adelaide, SA

Total posts: 1848
Posted:
Don't drive with your thumbs wrapped around the inside of the wheel!!!

If you hit anything, a kerb, an unexpected bump in the road, a small child etc. the steering wheel might kick back. The joint that holds your thumb to your hand is the weekest in your body, that kick back can break, or dislocate your thumb, or even rip it clean off if the bump's big enough.

As obvious as it sounds to those of us who know this, the ammout of people I see doing it is just silly.


"i am exotic, and must keep my arms down" - Rougie

"i don't understand what penises have to do with getting married" - Foxie

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: Patriarch917

Regarding the situation where your parking brake fails and your car is rolling down a hill, another option is trying to find something to throw under a wheel to make the car stop moving.

Is it worth throwing one of the kids under a wheel to save the rest? I'll leave that question up to someone else. ubbloco



You are sick.

I mean I'm sure you are already well aware of this and even proud of it.

But you are sick.

(The above statement is meant as a form of high compliment, BTW)


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Whether or not to wind the window in a sunk car very much depends on the depth of the water and it's temperature... While in deep water it's VERY adviseable to have the car fill up as fast as possible in order to avoid depth. Cold and deep water will make it challenging to reach the surface alive and breathing.

You can manually wind the window down, or try to break it with something solid... (having a small emergency hammer on board helps)... Or try it with your feet (NOT your hands)...

When a car is rolling down the hill there is not much you can do about it, other than trying to block a wheel or try to get inside the car as you did... hug Parking with the gear kicked in and the wheels to the curb has been mentioned before.

NOT to steer your car with the thumbs inside the wheel because they could get smashed is an urban legend. As long as you are not driving a 5 - 7 t truck, you're pretty allright. Basically it's "keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel" all the time, then crap like this doesn't happen so easily.

Whenever there is, take TIME... If you steered your car in to a tricky situation: get out, look and think before you act... Especially in a challenging environment (off road) this is the best advice... If you are approaching a tricky environment and you're not sure how and whether you can make it... Stop and find the trail you want to take with your car...

At river crossings (North NSW/ Queensland for say)... IF THEY ARE NOT CROCK-INFESTED... check the depth of the crossing, before attempting it...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:***edited*** double post
EDITED_BY: FireTom (1141036133)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Sym
BRONZE Member since Sep 2004

Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk

Total posts: 1858
Posted:Written by: FireTom

NOT to steer your car with the thumbs inside the wheel because they could get smashed is an urban legend. As long as you are not driving a 5 - 7 t truck, you're pretty allright.



Dude, no it's not - this can happen with any car without power stearing. It's still taught to off road drivers, and anyone who might drive over rough ground. It's areally good habit to get in to, just in case...


There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees

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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:the police can even tell who was driving at the time of the crash simply by the injuries to the drivers hands and the way the seat belt bruises run.

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DrBoo
BRONZE Member since Oct 2005

DrBoo

I invented the decaffinated coffee table.
Location: Cornwall

Total posts: 453
Posted:I have one to save your feet and toes:
If you're on a small boat (this won't work with cruise ships and liners tongue ) like a yacht or motorboat and it is heading towards another boat or the side of a jetty - never ever ever use your feet to push off. Always use your hands and arms. Or just let the darned thing crash, it'll be insured. wink


Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Sorry, just having different experiences with (Australian) dirt roads... I rather enjoyed having a nice and tight grip on the wheel and watching the road, even went slower than having the steering wheel taking over and steering my car into the bushes/ trees... shrug just my personal practical experience that's all...



BUT you are right when it comes to a NON-power steering system - the hitback can be quite nasty...



And holding the wheel at the spokes, rather than loosely on top or bottom will certainly help the thumb-issue...



(edit: spokes, not spikes... biggrin )

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1140852358)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Page: 12

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