Cars are wonderful when they are working. However, sometimes problems occur and you can become stranded. Here are some things you can do to prepare for these situations and what you should do if you become stranded:
How to Prepare for an Emergency
1. Think worst-case. Before you leave on a road trip, consider what would happen if you were stranded. What is the weather like? If it is cold and snowy, pack blankets. If it is hot, pack plenty of water bottles and a shade umbrella. Also pack some snacks and make sure that you have flashlights and road triangles.
2. Charge your phone. Before you leave, make sure your phone is completely charged and avoid using on the road. Program in the phone number of your roadside service so you have it if you need it. Purchase a car phone charger if you don't have one.
3. Plan your route carefully. Check all of the roads to make sure they are open and in good repair. Don't take any shortcuts you have never taken before. Stay on main roads where there is lots of traffic.
4. Check your spare tire. See if the lug nuts on your tires are loose enough for you to remove if you get a flat tire. Double check your tools and make sure you have a lug nut wrench, a jack, and an air tire gauge. It would be good to brush up on how to change a tire, too.
5. Phone a friend. When you leave, call a friend and tell them when you will check in with them again. Inform them of your route and ask them to call for assistance if they can't reach you when the next check-in time comes. This is particularly important if you do not have a phone or if you will be in areas that do not have cell service.
What to do When You Get Stranded
1. Call for help. If you have a working phone, call your roadside service provider or a friend/family member.
2. Wait in a safe place. Make sure your car is far away from traffic. If you are a woman, you may want to crouch on the far side of your car or wait inside to avoid possible predators. If you are stranded in the snow, wait in your car where you will stay dry. If you are concerned that your tail pipe might be covered in snow, though, you will need to check it to make sure you won't get carbon monoxide poisoning. Run your car in ten-minute intervals to warm up or cool off.
3. Walk for help. If you were not able to call for help, you may need to walk to the nearest town. Leave a note on your dashboard in case someone stops by your car. If you are lucky, a kind soul will stop and let you use their phone. Be wary of getting in a car with someone you don't know. Instead, ask them to go to the next town and send a police officer or a tow truck back for you.
To learn more, contact a company like Dietz Towing with any questions you have.