Swan & Ft. Lowell and W. Irvington

Driving Safety Vehicle Mechanical Failures
Tucson, Arizona

At the Moore Law Firm, we understand that having the best safe driving practices for our clients can help save lives.

Tucson Landmarks

How to navigate when you vehicle malfunctions

Driving requires your full and undivided attention, especially when you never know what drivers around you will be distracted by their phones, conversations, or just about anything else.

But there are times when your vehicle or parts of your car, like your tires, will fail, causing you to have to react in a moment to stop your vehicle safely and avoid an accident. So, what do you do when vehicle failures occur while driving?

Here are our expert tips on handling vehicle failures while driving to keep you and any of your passengers safe while on the busy Arizona roads and highways.

Tire Failure

flat tire

Tire failures happen all the time, and you can reduce your chances of having a blowout by regularly checking your tire pressure. And if you were to have a tire blowout, there are three key things to do:

  • Hold your steering wheel tightly to keep your vehicle moving straight forward.
  • Let off the gas pedal but do not apply the brakes.
  • Allow your car to slow down on its own.
  • Safely pull over to the side of the road and stop your vehicle.


fire extinguisher on car

Typically, fires are caused by a short circuit in your car’s electrical system. If you see that your vehicle is on fire, quickly pull off the road, shut off the engine to cut off electrical power, and immediately get all passengers away from your car.

Call 911. You always want to carry a fire extinguisher that is ABC rated dry chemical, but if you don’t have one, a heavy blanket, coat, or even sand can help smother flames. If the fire is beyond your control, stay away from the vehicle.



If there’s steam coming from under the hood of your car, it may mean that your cooling system is overheated. You should immediately pull over to the side of the road and turn your vehicle off. Then, raise the hood but never open the radiator cap because the steam will cause severe burns.

It’s wise always to carry extra water to add to your radiator if your engine overheats. Do not add it while it’s hot.

Headlight Failure


If your headlight or lights fail, try turning on the high beam/low beam switch, it may restore normal function. Try turning the headlight switch on and off several times, and if neither of those things works, put on your parking lights and emergency flashers, and pull to the side of the road.

Brake Failure

Car Brake

Most vehicles come with Anti-lock Braking Systems or ABS. You never want to pump anti-lock brakes. However, if your car does not have ABS, you want to pump your brakes rapidly to help build up enough pressure to stop your vehicle. If that doesn’t work, slowly apply your parking brake, but be sure to hold the brake release that way. You can ease off it if your rear wheels lock and you start to skid.

Try shifting to a lower gear to slow the car down and find a safe place to stop.

Power Steering Failure

Power steering failure can make your vehicle very difficult to drive. To stop your car safely, grip the steering wheel firmly with both hands to move to the side of the road. Stop the car.

Be sure to remember these tips when driving on the Arizona roads to help prevent accidents and injuries to you and all your passengers.

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