The human body is an amazing piece of machinery. When we are put in a situation where our survival depends on the choices we make, our bodies can allow us to do things that we think are impossible. While some of us are equipped with knowledge to overcome dangerous situations, not all of us wake up every morning expecting to be in real danger. Even if you have been in the boy scouts or learned a thing or two from watching Man vs Wild, there are still things which are simple but can ultimately come to your aid and save your life.
Fortunately for us, scholars, survivalists and medical gurus share some of their best tips and tricks for surviving a dangerous situation. After all, who knows when we will come face to face with a dangerous animal or even a person?
1. If your car accelerator gets stuck, shift your car to neutral instead of turning the ignition off.
This doesn’t happens that often but when it does, it can be nerve-wrecking and extremely dangerous. When a car’s gas pedal sticks or malfunctions, the vehicle starts accelerating at full speed and becomes unresponsive to braking efforts. While the exact reason for the issue is unknown, the situation can be caused by a faulty throttle or an external interference, such as a floor mat that wedges under the pedal. If you find yourself in such a situation, the first thing you need to do is stay calm, try not to panic and keep your eyes on the road.
Push the brakes firmly with both feet instead of pumping it since pumping the brake can interfere with the vehicle’s power brake vacuum assist. Shift the car to neutral and if the car starts to slow down, direct it to the nearest shoulder. Do not attempt to turn off the ignition in such a situation because turning off the ignition will also turn off power assist functions; making it hard to maneuver the car. Once you’re safely out of traffic and in a controlled stop, turn the ignition key off but leave the key in the ignition so that the steering wheel doesn’t lock. Next step is to call for assistance and have your car professionally serviced before attempting to drive again. (source)
2. If you ever find yourself face to face with an octopus or a swarm of bees.
Scuba diving is a popular sport and one of the scariest things that could happen while diving is being attacked by an octopus. The invertebrate animal can camouflage itself and latch on to unexpecting divers. They only grab onto things when they feel threatened or when found in a similar situation. Your first instincts should be to try and get them off their anchor point. Octopuses use anchor points such as pipes and rocks. If you can get them to lose their grip on the anchor point, they will let you go since they can no longer pull you down. Remember than they have more arms than us, so fighting it is not an option.
We have seen many cartoons portraying characters being chased by bees and then jumping into water to escape them. The thing is, this only happens in cartoons and not in real life. If you are being chased by bees and you decided to jump into a lake or body of water, the bees will simply hover above and wait for you. Apart from that, you have now created a situation where you move slower, can’t breathe and also introduced unseen inhabitants in the water to the equation. If pursued by bees, run until they think they have defended their hive enough. Some bees will chase you up to a mile away but your best chances of survival is to keep running away from the hive.
3. If you’re caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore and work your way out.
The beach is a fun place to hang out. The sun, the sand and the waves create a relaxing atmosphere. But, just because we’re having fun doesn’t mean that the beach cannot be a dangerous place. Rip currents account for 80% of beach rescues. While swimming or surfing, it’s important that you stay within the lifeguard’s visual line of sight. According to NOAA, rip currents can move faster than an Olympic swimmer; moving at speeds of up to eight feet per second.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, do not attempt to counter a rip current by swimming straight back to shore. This can cause fatigue and put you at risk of drowning. Your best chance of survival is to stay calm, since it won’t pull you under; instead it pulls you away from the shore. If you are a good swimmer, swim parallel to the shore to clear the pool of the rip current; and then swim with the waves to get back to shore. (source)
4. If you’re outside during a lightning storm and your hair starts standing up, seek immediate shelter.
When we are outside and we see the thunder rolling in, we have the natural tendency to get back inside. But, when we see the thunder rolling in and our hair starts standing up, we need to run as fast as we can to find a safe spot. When your hair stands on end during a thunderstorm, you are most likely about to be hit by lightning. It’s nature’s last warning that lightning is about to strike you.
The phenomena is caused by electrical charges in the atmosphere. Another sign of lightning getting ready to strike around you is metal objects making a buzzing noise. These signs are warnings that you should be seeking shelter immediately. If you are unable to find shelter, experts suggest that you crouch with your head down and have the least contact with ground as possible.
5. If you’re caught in an avalanche, in order to find the surface, try spitting. If it falls back on your face, you are facing upwards.
When we are facing a real-life situation, time is limited and our survival depends on our actions. More than 150 snowmobilers, skiers, and snowboarders become victims to avalanches every year. According to the National Geographic, 90% of the avalanches are triggered by the victim or someone with the victim. An avalanche comes from loose snow that is on a steep slope, snow cover, or a weak layer in the snow cover.
Since the human body is three times denser than avalanche debris, the body will sink quickly. If you are trapped in an avalanche, wait for the slide to slow and make room for you to breathe. Time is of essence in this case because once the avalanche stops, it settles like concrete. If you upside down or are unsure of which way to dig, try spitting. Gravity will help you know which way to dig since the spit will always go downward. Most people who are trapped in an avalanche dig the opposite way, trapping them deeper. (source)
6. The most dangerous time to be on the road is during Saturday nights, since this is when most drunk-drivers are out on the roads.
CDC reports show that nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year; which averages to 3,287 fatalities a day. And drunk driving on the other hand is responsible for at least 29 fatalities a day. In 2016, 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Our chances of getting into a wreck increases with more cars on the road as well as bad weather. But, when impaired drivers are on the road, the chances double or even triple. There is no excuse for drunk driving as it can cause tragedy but those who have been charged with drunk driving should still have the right to someone like these philadelphia criminal lawyers to help them defend their case.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that Saturday is the most dangerous day of the week to drive. This is not only because of more cars on the road during the weekend, but also because of drunk drivers. A report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that 31% of fatal drunk-driving accidents occur on the weekend, and the highest number of drunk drivers are on the road between midnight and 3 am. (source)
7. If you ever find yourself standing on top of thin ice, trying to walk across it increases the chances of breaking it. Instead, lay flat on your belly and crawl back towards the direction you came from.
With the temperature dropping at a fast pace, ponds and lakes start to freeze. Once it snows, it’s often hard to distinguish borders and some people often end up walking on top of frozen lakes or ponds. Whether they do it intentionally or unknowingly, it is important to understand and correct the mistake before it’s too late.
If the ice stays intact, slowly lay flat on the surface, since keeping your weight spread out will reduce the chances of ice from cracking. According to the Department of Natural Resources, in case you fall through, you should not remove your winter clothings; since it can trap air and keep you afloat. Turn towards the direction you came from and place arms on the unbroken surface. If you have ice picks, use them to pull yourself out of the water. If not, kick your feet and try to pull yourself onto the solid surface. Once you get out of the water, do not attempt to stand up since the weight to crack the ice again. Instead, roll away from the hole; spreading your weight. Once you are back in land, re-warm yourself and seek medical attention. (source)
8. If you’re driving on poor road conditions and your car starts skidding, turn the wheel towards the direction of drift in order to regain control.
If you find yourself sliding or fishtailing, it most likely means that you are going too fast for the poor conditions of the road. Cars can also slide if you apply the brakes too quickly or accelerate during turns. Remember that the higher the speed, the harder it will be to correct a car that is sliding. If one starts to slide, it is important to quickly steer towards the direction of the drift. Braking while sliding only increases the chances of losing control and getting into a wreck.
Braking is one of the most common mistakes drivers make while fishtailing. “Turning into the slide” is the thing to do, and if the back of your car slides to the right, turn the wheel to the right. Do not over correct since it can send your car into a full spin. (source)
9. When you’re in a crowded area, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the nearest exits in case of an emergency.
When you’re in an unfamiliar place, it’s important to know the nearest point of exit. Your safety should be your biggest concern. Remember that in case of a fire, emergency services take time to respond. Meanwhile, your job is to ensure your survival by heading out of the nearest exit.
10. If you are ever trapped in quicksand, move slowly and try to float. Do not fight it!
Quicksand is a non-Newtonian fluid, which means it can change its ability to flow (viscosity) in response to stress. While its undisturbed, it appears to be solid but once you step on it, the gel lowers viscosity and you begin to sink. If you continue the movement, the mixture will act like liquid and you sink further. Once you stop moving, it will settle into place. You don’t sink in quicksand until you’re completely submerged.
If you are standing upright, the furthest you’ll sink in the quicksand is waist-deep. So, remember that if you ever step foot into quicksand, stop immediately. If someone is with you or you see a branch of vine next to you, use it to put as much weight as you can on it. The lighter you weigh, the easier it will be to get out. Wiggle your feet and try to float until help arrives. Remember to stay calm and reduce motion until emergency services can come to your aid.