No matter how well you maintain your vehicle, car trouble is inevitable, and while the majority of breakdowns happen at random, there are a few smart ways a responsible driver can prepare for the most common emergencies. Here are six scenarios to always bear in mind. You should plan to have an immediate solution for each.
Finding yourself in the middle of a car crash will likely be one of the scariest moments you will ever experience, especially if you are at fault or if there are injuries involved. Safe driving is the only true preventative measure, but if you happen to be in a car accident, it is wise to always have an active insurance policy in force to provide the other party with sufficient compensation. There are different types of compensation to familiarize yourself with. You can have your insurance company decide on what is a fair amount to pay for medical expenses and repairs to the other vehicle at an auto shop. The alternative is to be liable for an out-of-pocket lump sum or hire a lawyer to negotiate the terms in favor of your best interests.
Inclement or Severe Weather
Despite the rain, sleet or snow, you still have places to be. However, when battling harsh weather conditions, you must be strategic. Before you set out, make sure that your windshield wipers are in tip-top shape, certify that your tire tread is up to par and pack an emergency kit. It should consist of a few essential items like a flashlight, a tow rope, a blanket and anything else that you deem helpful. Always drive much slower than normal as it can be easy to lose control of a vehicle when the roads aren’t completely dry. To increase visibility, keep your low beams on for the duration of the commute.
Running Out of Gas
While traveling around with a couple of gallons of gas may seem to be a sound solution, it is actually quite dangerous. Not only are standard gas cans not built to hold gasoline for long periods of time, but the fumes lingering in a vehicle for an extended period can also cause you great harm. However, you should always carry around an empty gas can so that you can walk to the nearest station if you run out. Perhaps a Good Samaritan will give you a lift.
The only way to combat a flat is to have it replaced immediately. It would truly pay off to know how to change your own tire. Whether you know the drill or not, you should always travel with a spare tire and a jack. Having these supplies on hand makes it easy for someone to offer to help out without inconveniencing themselves too much. Keep in mind that if a tire is already in bad shape, any amount of trauma could end its life.
That annoying clicking noise that you get when you attempt to turn your engine over reveals that your battery is dead. As long as it isn’t completely burned out, you can recharge it by connecting your handy jumper cables to both your dead battery and one that still has some juice. You may also be able to jump-start your car’s battery without the help of another vehicle by investing in a jump box. You can find a device of this kind that is affordable, portable and very efficient.
Driving an overheated car can lead to a blown head gasket, costing you a small fortune. As a rule of thumb, always carry coolant, especially if your car has a history of running hot or has a leak in the radiator. When you first notice the rising temperature, pull over immediately and wait until the vehicle has cooled down before opening the hood. Next, check the antifreeze levels in the reservoir tank and the radiator, and replenish them if necessary. If the car continues to run hot, stop driving and contact an expert.
One more thing you might want in your tool kit is a card for roadside assistance. No one really expects you to be an expert at solving mechanical issues, so it is best to have emergency roadside assistance on your side. With professionals available 24 hours a day, the stress of making the right call at a difficult moment is completely eliminated.