Prevent Roadside Panic With an Emergency Car Kit.
In a perfect world, your car would always get you from Point A to Point B without any difficulties. Unfortunately, in the real world, cars get flat tyres, run out of petrol and experience weather conditions that cause us to pull over and wait out the storm. To stay as safe as possible during roadside emergencies, it’s vital to prepare for unforeseen circumstances.
Get to a Safe Spot
If your car starts to stall or you notice you have a flat tyre, try to get to the side of the road before your vehicle breaks down completely. Turn your hazard lights on right away to alert other drivers, and if you are on the side of a busy road, do not step out of your car into traffic. Use your cellphone to call for assistance. If you have car trouble in an isolated area, check carefully to be sure the road is free of approaching cars before getting out to raise the bonnet and assess the situation.
Whether you are waiting 45 minutes for a tow truck to arrive or several hours for a severe storm to pass overhead, you should prepare yourself now for any possible issue in the future. DriveTime’s post “Preparing for a Roadside Emergency” lists several items that every driver should keep in her car, especially when driving for long distances or on unfamiliar roads. In addition to always taking your mobile phone with you, be sure your car has a phone charger and an extra charged battery in your glove box. This way you can call for help, even if your phone’s battery is dead.
Also, inspect your spare tyre and make sure it is full of air and easily accessible. Check that the jack and lug wrench are stored in the back of your vehicle. Whenever you have your tyres rotated, ask them to check the spare and keep it properly inflated.
Extras in Your Emergency Kit
A flashlight with extra batteries should be kept in your car at all times. In addition to being helpful to check your engine when pulled over at night, a flashlight helps the tow truck driver see you, as well as other drivers on the road. As Progressive Online notes, a tool kit filled with screwdrivers and wrenches should be included in your car emergency kit, along with flares, duct tape, a fire extinguisher and a can of motor oil. Consider keeping an empty petrol can in the trunk and sealant for small and slow leaks in the tyres.
To stay hydrated and ward off hunger, keep a few bottles of water in your trunk along with a bag filled with non-perishable snacks. This is especially important before heading out on a long road trip. In case you are stuck waiting for roadside assistance for several hours, snacking on nuts, dried fruit, whole grain crackers and granola bars will help keep your energy up. During the cold months, bring a blanket with you and a bag of kitty litter to provide traction should you get stuck in the snow.