While car breakdowns are inevitable, car owners can avoid further damages to their cars, to themselves, and to other people by observing good practices.
Read on for safety tips on how to avoid car emergencies and how to manage them when they happen
The best way to avoid vehicle breakdowns is to keep cars suitable for use.
Car repair is a necessary expense that will, in the long run, save money and lives.
Here are some tips on how to keep a vehicle in good condition.
1. Change oil every 5,000 miles. Dirty oil can potentially kill a car’s engine and having it repaired will cost thousands of dollars.
2. Change tires every 60,000 miles. Old, damaged tires can cause fatal accidents.
3. Replace brake pads every 25,000 miles. It’s always best to have brake pads and rotors checked by professionals, but brake pads, on average, are safe to use for 25,000 miles. Replacing brake pads will cost about $150 but can prevent accidents.
4. Make sure the headlights are working. Busted headlights, apart from being illegal, are dangerous.
5. Keep the temperature balanced. Investing in a $15 bottle of antifreeze every 15,000 miles will prevent the radiator from overheating.
6. Have your spark plugs checked by professionals. Bad spark plugs can cause great damage to an engine.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, car emergencies are inevitable.
In such cases, it is best to keep calm and deal with an emergency with composure.
Having a clear mind in emergency situations is important in saving lives.
Here are some tips in dealing with car emergencies.
1. Think About Safety. The first step in any car emergency is to think of safety. We should minimize the possibility of other vehicles and other people getting involved in another accident because of the current emergency. Move the car as far from the road as possible if the situation allows it. Turn on the hazard lights, lock the doors, turn off the engine, and make your car noticeable. We highly recommend placing two LED flares behind the stopped vehicle, with the first one being 10 feet behind and the other being 100 feet behind, both lined up with the middle of the vehicle.
2. Create a visible distress signal. If help from authorities is needed, hang a piece of cloth in a visible part of the vehicle. Turn on car emergency lights for better visibility.
3. Arrange for a towing service to move the vehicle and arrange for a car service to get home. In case a suspicious stranger offers help, inform him that help is already on the way.
4. In collision cases, observe these additional steps.
a. Call 911 if anybody is injured. If an injured person is not moving, do not move the body unless doing so causes more harm to the person, like if there’s a fire, or unless the 911 representative instructs otherwise.
b. Get all the necessary information, specifically, the name, license information, plate number, address, contact number, the insurance company, and policy number of the other driver/s involved.
c. Talk to authorities and don’t make personal settlements with the other involved parties.
d. Call the insurance company and visit the nearest collision center.
The best car emergency kit is a portable one that can easily be grabbed in case of a car emergency.
Here are the top 7 things we recommend to always be in any vehicle:
1. Car manual
3. Mobile charger and power bank
4. First-aid materials
5. Jack and wrench
6. Jumper cables
7. Fire extinguisher
Winter is a more challenging time for drivers. Make sure to always have these additional items during winter:
1. Clothing articles that add warmth
2. Windshield scrapers
3. Tire chains and tow strap
4. Food and water
5. Cat litter
6. Reflective safety vest
No matter how ready or careful a car owner is, he will still likely experience a car breakdown in his lifetime.
We highly recommend being prepared for such instances with these extra services that require a bit of money but will ultimately save a car owner time and money in emergency cases.
A roadside assistance program helps motorists back on the road in cases of car breakdowns. Almost all insurance policies cover this.
The most important aspects of roadside assistance are towing, battery jumpstart, flat tire, and locksmith services. Most roadside assistance providers operate 24/7.
The mentioned services already have hefty prices individually.
A person can save so much time and money if he avails of roadside assistance and gets into a roadside car emergency.
We recommend this service especially for motorists who travel long distances regularly.
Extended Auto Warranty extends the manufacturer’s initial warranty period.
The biggest advantage of availing of this service is having professionals take care of all the vehicle’s needs when it’s in for repairs.
This additional service means lower expenses and minimal time and effort on the part of the car owner in cases of emergencies.
Everything will be taken care of by trusted mechanics.
The last piece of advice we have in roadside car emergencies is to learn basic car skills, such as changing a flat tire, charging a dead battery, and getting a car unstuck from mud or snow.
As car emergencies will undoubtedly happen, being equipped with the right tools and skills will save a car owner time, money, and sometimes, even a life.