Car Emergency Safety
No matter how often we perform maintenance on our cars, sometimes they break down. More importantly, they seem to break down in the most inconvenient times or places. Car emergency safety is a skill we should learn as soon as we learn to drive. You can handle some situations safely on your own, and with others, it's best to call in the professionals.
Basic Car Emergency Safety Tips
When your car gets a flat tire, the engine starts making a strange noise, or you see smoke billowing from under the hood, it's likely to cause a panic. It's important to keep your head in situations like this so that you can get your car off the road and to a safe place.
When you're working on getting your car to a safe stopping point, remember to always be aware of your surroundings. Once you're off the road and in a safe place, you can assess the situation and determine if you can handle it, or if you should call a tow truck.
Be sure to call non-emergency police services if you're blocking any part of the road so that they can be aware of your location. They will be able to implement traffic control options if needed to keep you and other drivers safe.
Take a moment to calm down, and assess the situation from inside your car before stepping out. Is it safe for you to leave the car at this time? Consider the neighborhood, the traffic levels, and visibility. Keep a reflective vest in your emergency car kit to help other drivers see you.
Environmental Emergency Tips
Remember that the environment around you can create road hazards that drivers aren't always prepared for. Snow and ice can create slippery conditions that can lead to collisions, even when it doesn't look icy. Rainwater can cause unexpected flooding and or hydroplaning risk. Study how to handle your car when these conditions arise to prevent dangerous situations in the future.
Mechanical Emergency Tips
If you find yourself struggling to steer, or the brakes are not reacting the way they should, these are signs of critical mechanical malfunction. These situations are dangerous to you and others on the road. Do your best to slowly pull off to the side of the road, use your emergency flashers, and use emergency brakes to stop the car safely.
Keep an Emergency Kit
You don't need a full preppers kit in your trunk, but having some basic tools, reflective triangles or cones, a reflective vest, and a few other items will make this situation much less stressful. More importantly, learn how to use the tools in your kit. Not knowing how to use the jumper cables, or a tire jack doesn't reduce your stress.
A basic car emergency kit will cover a few bases for you. A complete kit will have some things for your comfort and safety, as well as some basic car tools. According to the National Safety Council, your emergency kit should be checked and restocked every six months. Here are some items they recommend in your basic car kit. There are fancier versions of most of these tools that make them easier to use, but this is a list you can start from.
For The Car:
- A spare tire that's properly inflated
- Tire Iron or wheel wrench
- Hand jack
- Jumper cables or a jump box (and knowledge on how to use them)
- Small tool kit, or multitool
- Flashlight with batteries
- Reflective triangles or cones
- Small gas can
For The Passengers:
- First aid kit
- Drinking water
- Non-perishable foods
- An emergency stash of medications
- Car charger, or charge block for your cell phone
- Reflective vest
- Rain poncho
- A paper map of your region
Extras For Extreme Cold Weather:
- Cold weather clothing
- Snow brush
- Windshield washer fluid
- Cat litter
- Hand warmers
The items listed above are things you should keep in your car for all situations. If you're leaving on a road trip, it's advisable to add these items to your checklist and your kit. Before you leave, pack a spare set of clothes and a full-day dosage of your needed medications. If you're stranded somewhere waiting for help, these things will help keep you safe. It's also wise to pack extra food and water for every person riding with you.
Run through your preventative checklist the day you're scheduled to leave. Check your fluid levels, and top off your motor oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, etc. Check the air pressure of your tires and your spare tire. Ensure your jack, tire iron, and other essential tools are in their places, clean and serviceable.
For those emergencies that arise that require more than a little work, you'll want to have the resources in place to get help. For car wrecks or more severe breakdowns, roadside assistance is a good investment. Most insurance carriers offer some form of roadside assistance.
Fayetteville Towing Services is familiar with the billing process of the roadside assistance programs available with most automobile insurance companies. AAA also offers independent supplemental roadside assistance, even if your regular insurance doesn't.
When the emergency is beyond your comfort zone to handle or you need assistance, you can call your insurance company and request a tow truck. You can also request Fayetteville Towing Services if you're in the Fayetteville, Arkansas, region.
Fayetteville Towing Services
We offer towing and roadside services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No one plans on a roadside emergency, and we understand that it's not always convenient. However, we work with you to get you back on the road as safely and quickly as possible.
With tire changes, fuel delivery, in town towing or long distance towing, and more, we're here to help you when you need it. We have drivers on call at all hours to get you and your car to safety. Give us a call today to get you back on the road.