A car's bonnet flying open is a very frightening but fortunately, now, rare experience.

However,  a friend recently did have such an incident, to be honest, through his own neglect, so perhaps a reminder is timely.

All modern cars are fitted with a secondary catch which must be opened after the bonnet release has been pulled so as to prevent this type of incident. However, if someone has failed to secure the bonnet correctly it may fly open as soon as the rush of air is sufficient to lift it.

It is a sensible practise to check that the bonnet is securely fixed after opening it for any reason. If the bonnet does fly open you will lose complete forward vision immediately:

  • DO NOT just hit the brakes
  • Brake progressively and put on the emergency hazard flashers
  • Bring the car to a halt using your memory of the road conditions just before the incident occurred
  • If you are able - and have time - wind down the drivers side window, try to look out and drive carefully to a safe position well off the road.

Once you have pulled up safely:

  • If you can, push the bonnet back into place
  • The bonnet will usually be too bent for the catches to hold it down and you will have to tie it down to         the bumper or the car's bodywork before you are able to proceed
  • Drive home, or to a garage, SLOWLY!

Article © Graham Benge 2007

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