Stage 2: Emergency Acceleration


You may be thinking to yourself, “What on earth is emergency acceleration? And why would I ever want to teach this to a new driver?!” The reason is that there are instances in which accelerating quickly is the safest way out of a dangerous situation. Although these occurrences are rare, they do happen. And as you know by now, safe driving demands being prepared for all those “what ifs”.Before I tell my little story, please understand that you should always pull over and give way to emergency vehicles. Remember, we’re talking about rare circumstances here.


A few weeks ago, I was making a run to Home Depot. I needed a new toilet seat cover, but let’s not delve too far into that. So, I’m almost at the store and I’ve just exited the highway. I’m sitting at a red light and waiting to make a left turn. The green arrow illuminates and I begin to enter the intersection. As soon as I’m in the middle of the intersection, I hear one of the loudest car horns I’ve ever heard. I quickly look around to figure out what’s going on. As I glance to the left, I see an ambulance barreling down upon me.

We’re all taught to give way to emergency vehicles. But, I was in the middle of an intersection and if I slammed on the brakes, I would have blocked the ambulance. Of course, I doubt it would have slowed down before crashing into me. So, I did the opposite of my first instinct and accelerated quickly through the intersection to get out of the way of the ambulance.

My heart was pounding and I wondered how I didn’t hear the ambulance before I made my turn. Was my music too loud? Did I not look in both directions before I started my turn? What I eventually came to realize is that the ambulance had turned onto the road just as my light had turned green. I should have been more vigilant and spotted it earlier.

There are two important lessons here. The first is that sometimes you need to accelerate to get out of a dangerous situation. The second is that it’s important to learn from your driving mistakes.

Don’t make a habit out of emergency accelerating

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, braking is what makes you safer, not accelerating.

Continue on to Parallel Parking


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