If you own a vehicle, it is in your best interest to keep it in the best condition to avoid any delays due to vehicle breakdowns. You need to be extra cautious about the health of your car and its components if you frequently travel interstate or outside of the main city area, areas where it is hard to find help, in case of a problem.
It is a grim reality that no matter how much you are prepared for the worst, you may just have to face it. For the automobile owners, it comes when you are driving at your sweet speed and everything comes to a sudden halt and you have no idea what has gone wrong. A little training comes a long way. There are chances that an object flew to your windshield, you got a flat tire, or you ran into something.
No matter the issue, you need to keep yourself calm and evaluate the situation, not to mention you need to call help as soon as your car comes to a halt.
To ensure your safety and the safety of your road fellows, here are some tips that can help you in such situations.
Whenever you find yourself in a roadside pickle, these will help you.
The Usual Suspects You Should Look For
First of all, no one wants you to be a full-fledged mechanic. All you need to know are some common problems that can occur to anyone. These are simple issues such as:
- A loose connector
- A wire coming off
- Loss of fluids (Water)
- Flat tire
- Dead battery
Knowing the common problems and finding a doable solution on the spot can save you from long hours of waiting for help. Also, you can save some money because towing trucks do not come nor do they come cheap.
Find a Safe Position Away From Traffic
There are instances when your vehicle does not give a sign before stopping and you could end up in the middle of the road. This could cause obstruction for the traffic and puts everyone in the vehicle in a dangerous position.
The best course for you is to pull off to a side and stay away from the ongoing traffic. Due to an off-chance situation where you cannot get your car to the side of the road, the best course is to remain in your car and wait for help, instead of pushing it aside.
There are many incidents where car owners attempted to get out of the car and got hit by ongoing traffic.
Stay with Your Car
In cases where your vehicle gives up on you in the middle of nowhere, it seems a better idea to leave your car there and scout for help. Even on the highways and remote areas, there are always chances of finding help. Make sure you remain with your car at all times.
Instead of scouring for help, you should let help come to you and your vehicle. There are chances that your car may get towed and you need to track down local authorities and retrieve your car back. So, the best course of action is to stay with your car.
Still, if you are not much into the wilderness and hoping you can find assistance near-by, leave a note in your car, preferably on the dashboard, and explain the whole situation and come back without unnecessary delay.
Make Your Car Visible
The moment you start experiencing problems with your vehicle, you should turn the hazard lights on. This will keep you and your road fellows from an accident.
There are many car models that come loaded with kits and items that can help you out of trouble. If you have a roadside emergency kit with you, use warning signals such as flares or hazard triangles to warn other drivers.
States compel commercial vehicles to place warning devices at 10 feet and 100 feet from the vehicle that should face toward the approaching traffic. Similarly, a device should be placed 100 feet from the stationary vehicle in the direction that faces away from the approaching vehicles.
In case you are stopped along a curve or a steep hill, everyone will be better off if you place two devices at both 100 feet and 500 feet from your vehicle. This will give a fair warning to approaching drivers that there is an immobile vehicle ahead. The same practice should be observed for passenger vehicles to avoid accidents.
Keep in mind that flares may not be the best device to warn other drivers and mostly depend on your situation.
Contact Roadside Assistance
In case you don’t know, there are many insurance companies and car dealerships that offer assistance if you are facing a vehicle breakdown. They are better than general towing companies because they give a priority to their clients.
It gives swift assistance and a reliable approach that promises peace of mind in case of a vehicle failure. As a driver stuck in the middle of nowhere, they are bound by contract to help you out.
DIY – To Do or Not To Do
For those who have some experience in automobile repairing and maintenance, it could be a viable option to identify the fault. If it could be rectified without any aid from the outside world, you need to make sure that you have used all the roadside signs that will show your car is broken down and then get on with your work. Even if you can’t do it on your own, you can talk with the repairing guy and explain the situation.
Beware Of Kind Strangers
We have learned from our parents not to trust a stranger on the road. The teaching is not void of its own merits. No doubt, there are many generous people out there that are eager to help their fellows. But, co-existing with them are some bad people that can put you and your loved ones in danger.
For instance, in a scenario where a stranger pulls up beside you and offers help, the best way is to keep your doors locked and tell them politely that help is on the way. If you get uncomfortable with the weird demeanor of your road fellow, you should call the police and explain the situation to them.
Use Common Sense
Having experience in automobiles can vary from person to person. There is also a whole lot of differences between the nature of failure, the place where your vehicle comes to a halt, and the make and model of your car. In a nutshell, you need to think critically and follow safety protocols to ensure everyone’s safety.
No matter how prepared you are and the prime condition of your vehicle is, there are always chances that it could come to a halt at a time and place you least expected. As mentioned above, these tips and precautionary measures will ensure you stay safe until the cavalry arrives. Still, every situation differs with a course of action and the nature of results along with it. You should practice discretion and rationality to avoid any unnecessary risks and to ensure you reach your destination.