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How to Handle Hood Latch Failure When Driving


Slow down as quickly as possible. Make sure to check the rearview mirror before hitting the brakes.


Look in the space between the hood and the engine to see in front of you. Put your head out of the window and peer around the hood if this is not possible.


Head for the side of the road (use your turn signal); pull completely off the road and out of the way of traffic.


Turn on the emergency flashers if necessary. Do not attempt to drive again until the hood is down and latched or fastened. You can tie it down with a rope if necessary.

Tips and Warnings

  • You can also use the center line or the lane marking to guide you; passengers can peer out the windows to help you as well.
  • Hood latch failure usually isn't that at all - it's usually the result of failing to shut the hood properly. Always make sure your hood mechanism has snapped into place when you close it.
  • Check to make sure that your hood is not warped or damaged.
  • Try not to panic. They key to surviving hood latch failure unscathed is to make certain you don't hit anyone and that no one hits you.

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