Read What To Do If Your Steering Fails While Driving
Understandably, a vehicle is a machine that can malfunction at anytime, likewise any of its parts, including brakes, tyres, steering wheel, etc. When in motion, the sudden failure of certain parts, like steering wheel, can cause serious panic and can even lead to an accident, if not properly managed, given the pivotal role it plays.
Therefore, if you discover that your steering is no longer active, here are a few tips to help you out:
Don’t panic: This is usually the first reaction when drivers discover such, but instead of entertaining fear, put on your hazard light, so as to let other road users know that you have some emergency, hence they should take caution. The magnitude of fear entertained by the driver of such a vehicle is largely dependent on its speed and the location, as to how populated or otherwise the place is. So, instead of driving with fear, exercise some caution and bear in mind that your action or inaction in the next few minutes would determine where you would end up. So, be calm.
Reduce your speed: As soon as you discover that the steering has failed, reduce your speed so that you could have a bit of control of the vehicle. And this goes along with the hazard light. If your car has cruise control, deactivate it immediately either by marching the brake or by putting it off. If you are in a crowded area, apart from putting on the hazard light, use your horn and put on your headlights to create enough awareness.
Move to the side of the road: When your vehicle has steering problem, you should not be in the middle of the road. It is entirely clear that you could be on the fast lane when it happened, thus when you discover it, continue turning it to the side that is safer, and that should be to your right. You could be lucky, and it could respond slightly. So, find a way to move to one side of the road.
Don’t put off the engine: Some people are fond of putting off the engine when the car is moving, especially when descending a hill. And this is usually done to save fuel. But that is not right and it is very risky too. Apart from the fact that it would make the steering wheel to be stiff, it could lead to accident, given the slow response of the steering. So, you need the steering wheel to be as soft as possible, perhaps it will respond along the line.
Do a brief check: If you are able to bring the car to a halt without any issue, you should check the level of your power steering fluid, which could have caused such an issue if it is low. If it is low, then refill it and give it some time before starting it again. In case it still does not respond, or in case the power steering oil gauges, consult a mechanic. Steering failure is not something that can be managed.
Carry out routine checks: Findings have shown that people tend to forget to check this oil because it is not used up quickly like others. But, to avoid unfortunate situations and putting your life at risk, check the power steering oil every day before leaving the house. Also, endeavour to use recommended products so that a wrong product does not damage your vehicle.
Meanwhile, it should be noted that steering failure can manifest either as a total failure of the steering system or if the power steering fails. Whichever happens to your vehicle, don’t panic, put on your hazard light, reduce your speed and find your way to the right side of the road where the risk of colliding with other vehicles is minimal.