Featured Image Caption: Road with Trees on Both Sides
Having a car break down is a major inconvenience and a headache at any time. A car breaking down in the middle of nowhere, though, is reason enough to make anyone panic. While no one wants this to happen, there are some things you can do to prepare for this eventuality. That way, if you are driving in the middle of nowhere and hear your car make a strange noise, you can use the following tips to protect yourself and your car.
Prepare for Emergencies Ahead of Time
Being prepared for an emergency doesn’t mean you are being negative and expecting the worst to happen. Rather it means that you can rest assured knowing that if your car breaks down, you will have everything you need and can enjoy the trip in peace. Make a car kit ahead of time that includes:
- Jumper cables
- Tool kit
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Ice scraper
- Kitty litter or gravel for traction in the snow
- Properly inflated spare tire
- Wheel wrench
- Tripod jack
- External cell phone charger
- Cell phone with GPS
Check Out Your Car
It is also a good idea to get your car checked out before leaving for a long trip. Take your vehicle to a mechanic you trust and have the battery inspected, make sure all of the fluids are filled to their proper level, and have all of the lines inspected for any leaks. This is also a great time to ensure all routine maintenance has been completed, such as getting your oil changed or transmission flushed.
Plan for Towing
If you do break down in the middle of nowhere, you don’t want to have to abandon your car and walk for help. To prevent this, plan for towing in case your car won’t budge by itself. Before leaving, talk with your insurance company or roadside assistance provider. Make sure that they provide coverage for your travels, and get any local phone numbers you may need. A tow truck driver can help tow your vehicle, put gas in your car, or help with battery issues in case of an emergency. They’re also important for helping get you to safety and out of the elements.
Pull Over to the Side of the Road Safely
If you are driving and begin to hear a strange sound, your tire goes flat, or you smell something off, take a deep breath and pull over to the side of the road. If you are on a highway and can make it to the next exit, do so. The shoulder of the highway isn’t the safest place to stop unless there is an emergency. Once you pull over, put on your hazard lights and use road flares to protect yourself and your car. This is especially important in the snow and the dark as other cars might not see your vehicle pulled over and could hit it. Call a tow truck driver for help and wait until they arrive.
Don’t be stranded if your car breaks down. By being prepared ahead of time, you will be able to get the help you need and get back on the road as soon as possible.
By Anita Ginsburg
who is a freelance writer and residing in Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. She recommends keeping the number of a local towing company on hand when you take a trip, just in case.