Every person should know what to do when they are a passenger in a car of which the driver has lost control. There are several situations where the passengers of the car simply do not know what to do, and their proper and prompt reaction may be the difference between life and death. There are several of you reading this, who might have gone through exactly this but did not know what to do. There are a few steps which you can take to minimize the damage which could be possibly caused. This is applicable to both manual and automatic transmission automobiles.[irp]
1-Fasten your seatbelt if you have not fastened it yet.
2-Raise the armrest, or push yourself over it in order to have a better view of things. Make sure though that you are steady enough to control the car.
3-Don’t try and reach the brake pedal, as you cannot possibly do it and braking at high speeds may cause further loss of control of the car.
4-Grab the wheel of the car with your left hand and keep the car in one lane.
5-Check all the mirrors possible to check for any cars around you, you may not be able to see them all from the passenger seat though.
6-Turn on the flashers and put the car on neutral.
7-Try and slowly guide the car into the nearest emergency lane or clear area (wherever safe and possible)
8-In order to hasten up the process, you can try to apply the emergency brake located at either near the armrest or near the pedal. It is not advisable to do so at high speeds.
9-If you are not able to locate the emergency brake or are not able to apply it, then all you can do is wait for the car to slow down on neutral. If there is a friend at the back, ask them to help you.
10-If the emergency brake is in your reach, before applying it make sure that your car is going straight. You should grab hold of the emergency brake and gently pull the handle towards yourself until the car has completely stopped. You may have to repeat the process a few times depending on the speed of your car, again do not do it when traveling at high speed.[irp]
11-Under no circumstances should you jerk or pull up the emergency brake too quickly? This will cause the car to further lose grip and skid/drift, which will increase the risk of the car hitting some person or car, crash into a building or road side. Not so much in sedans, but in SUVs skidding or drifting on high speeds will cause the vehicle to flip.
12-After the vehicle is completely stopped, turn the car off and take the key out, unlock your doors and go check up on the driver. Though we hope none of you have to apply these tips any day, still keeping them in mind may help you in a situation like this.