One of the most stressful things about owning a vehicle is that it never breaks down when it's convenient. At no time is it more inconvenient than when you and the family are on a road trip. Whether it's traversing the country or cruising down the interstate in your vehicle, stranded on the side of the road is the last place you want to be. Here's how to make sure you are prepared as well as possible in case something happens.
Visit Your Mechanic before the Trip
Before you hit the open road, schedule an appointment with your mechanic first. Have them give your vehicle a thorough checkup to make sure it is road-ready. Let them know you will be going on a long-distance trip and want to be assured everything is in good working order. Get the oil changed and have them check and fill all other fluids. It is also a good idea to have them inspect hoses and belts. Make sure they also inspect your tire treads and look for any hidden nails, slow leaks, pulling away from the bead, or signs of cracking in the wheel walls. The savvy driver always gets a pre-trip inspection.
Stock Emergency Supplies
Smart consumers live by the motto "always be prepared," and this sage advice particularly applies to making sure you are prepared for roadside emergencies. Your emergency kit should contain a toolbox with the basics: a spare tire, a can of pressurized air to inflate a tire, and a tire jack. You will also need a battery-operated lantern, flashlight, and emergency flares. High-visibility triangles should also be a part of your supplies.
In addition to supplies to potentially help you fix your vehicle, you will also want to have emergency provisions. Bottles of water, high-protein snacks like peanuts and granola bars, a first-aid kit, and solar blankets will keep you safe if you end up being stranded in a remote location or during a snowstorm and can't get help for a while.
Keep Your Cellphone Charged
If you begin having mechanical problems while driving, get off the road as soon as you are safely able to. Put your hazards on, then carefully get out of the vehicle to assess the situation. If you don't feel you will be able to make the necessary repairs, use your cellphone to call a 24-hour towing service immediately. If your cellphone doesn't have a signal, try getting through to 911. If neither of these options are available, stay in your vehicle and wait for either law enforcement or a tow truck driver to come by. If another driver stops to offer help, it is safest to simply ask them to phone roadside assistance for you.Share
9 October 2018
After my car died and I was stranded on the freeway a few years back, I knew that I had to do what I could to avoid similar issues in the future. I began working hard to identify different issues with my car, so that I could prevent problems. I began working with a mechanic to get help, and he taught me a lot about going through my car and being able to evaluate different things that were problems. It was really interesting to explore the possibilities of different car failures, and before I knew it, I could tell when my car was struggling. Read more about the early signs of car trouble on my blog.