Road emergencies can happen at the most inconvenient times, whether they occur during a severe storm or when you are simply late for a meeting or appointment. Staying prepared for road emergencies can help alleviate stress, keep you safe and get you back on the road a bit faster. Here are three things every driver should do to prepare for road emergencies.
Keep Emergency Towing Information Handy
Having access to emergency towing and roadside assistance handy is critical for getting you and your disabled vehicle off of a busy roadway quickly. If you have a roadside assistance plan, you may already have an app on your phone that lets you request help. If you don't, check with your state to see if it offers any type of towing or roadside assistance service. Illinois, for example, offers the H.E.L.P. program, which provides fuel, tire changes, battery charges and access to local towing services in the event of road emergencies. Texas also has a stranded motorists hotline locals can call for assistance or to report dangerous conditions. If your car insurance carrier offers a mobile app, check to see if it provides access to towing services information.
Schedule Routine Maintenance
The best way to prepare for road emergencies is to prevent them. Schedule routine oil changes for your vehicle, and have your fluids checked and topped off when the oil is changed. Have your tires rotated, and be sure to check the tire pressure before you travel long distances or you take your car out in extreme heat or cold. Get your brakes checked to make sure they are in proper working condition. Routine maintenance can prevent flat tires, an overheated engine and other damage to your vehicle that could cause it to stop working while you are on the road.
Pack A Repair Kit
While you probably already know to pack an emergency kit for your car that includes water, blankets and other essentials, you might not have considered adding a toolkit to your car. Having the right tools to perform routine repairs can help you to get your car temporarily moving until you can have it repaired by a mechanic. Consider keeping the following in your vehicle:
- Tire pressure gauge and tire iron
- Portable hydraulic jack
- Jumper cables and portable battery charger
- Road flares
- Seat belt cutter and window breaker
- Tow straps
- Rock salt or gravel
- A small tool set with a ratchet, wrenches and screwdrivers
In the event that you can't perform the repairs yourself, call a towing service such as Elden Dattage Towing & Auto Repair. You can have your vehicle towed back to your home or to the mechanic's shop where further repairs can be performed.