Preparing for Car Troubles or Breakdowns
If you're like most people, you rely upon your car nearly every day. Most of us do not live in cities where mass transit is readily available so the likelihood of having to have our car out every day to go to work, to school or to outside activities is high. In most cases the car will get you there and back in good time and without problems, but what if it doesn't?
Car breakdowns do happen. Potholes, sinkholes, accidents and other things can take place, as well as just mechanical failure that will leave you stranded. Depending on where you are stranded, it could take some time to get you moving. In fact, one out of three cars will break down at some point in the life of the car. If you're not in a city area where help is plentiful, you need to take some steps to be prepared for what could be fatal if you're not careful. Every year people are stuck in vehicles and not found for at least a day if they are in poorly traveled roads. How can you be prepared for something that hasn't happened to you in years and should you take the time?
The answer is absolutely. Be prepared for any eventuality when you are out in your car.
Where does it happen?
It's not uncommon at all to see people who are stranded in cities and towns all over the country. Car failure can happen at any time, in any place, and for many reasons. Being prepared for it is just good sense
How Can You Prepare for Car Failure?
First of all, an ounce of prevention--as they say--is worth a pound of cure. Making sure that your car is well serviced and that you take good care of it can help to prevent the unexpected. Regular inspections, regular oil and fluid changes and regular tire changes can be a big help in preventing the most common causes of breakdown. Make sure that your oil and antifreeze are always checked and always at recommended levels and that your brake lines and belts are regularly viewed to ensure that they are not frayed or ready to break.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Even if you've done it all right, that doesn't, sadly, mean that you'll never experience a car failure. In fact, statistics say that at some point in your life you are going to have that experience. The best that you can do is mitigate the problems that it may cause and help to keep yourself from being badly injured or more when your car does break down.
Your Car Contents
You can accomplish that, first of all by packing a kit in your car that you keep there at all times. Whether you are going across the country or just across town or out for a drive on that little forest road, your car should always have a kit inside it that offers you some basic necessities.
At no time should your car leave the garage without having the basics inside it. The car should always have a jack, a spare tire, and the basic tire changing tools that you need in the car. No car should ever leave the driveway unless those basic items are in the trunk so that you can change a tire or do basic repairs if you need to and are able to do so.
There should always be a small kit inside your car that contains a few other things too. particularly if you're in the wilderness, but even if you are not, you'll want to ensure that the kit goes to your car when you leave the house or resides in the car and has the items changed when or if they become outdated. Inside your car in a a small pack, the recommended items that you should carry include:
- Any medication that you need on a daily or regular basis.
- 2 small bottles of water and/or water purification tablets.
- 2 energy or protein bars to give you something to keep energy up and calories up.
- A space blanket that can help to keep you warm or shaded as the need arises.
- A first aid kit that can be used if you are injured in any way. It should include bandages, tape, sterile gauze and other items that can be used for large or small injuries.
You should never leave your house in your car without telling someone where you are going, how long you will be gone and when they can expect you back. If the drive is a long one or takes you through areas that are not well traveled, make sure that they know what route you will be taking so that someone knows where to look if you're not back on time.
Take a cell phone if you have one, but even if you do not, providing your route and your time will be a big help if you do experience car problems.
What Should You do if Your Car Breaks Down?
- First of all, each experience and each breakdown will be different. If you've taken steps to let someone know where you are, then sit tight and allow them time to find you.
- If you are injured, try to stay calm and think about the best way to get out of the situation that you are in.
- If you have a cell phone, try to make a call. If the signal allows or you are in an area where you might be able to get higher up to reach a tower, try it if you are able.
- If you are able, know the terrain and can get to help in a short time, then try to walk to where you need to go. If on the other hand you do not know where you are, stay with the car.
- Don't go too far from your car, particularly in the winter time and if you do not know where you are. Leaving the car could get you away from the only shelter that you have. Stay inside it if you can. If you run the car to stay warm make sure that the tail pipe is uncovered.
- If you've been stranded due to snow, particularly be careful that the snow is not around the tailpipe and that there is no blockage there. This will serve to prevent you from breathing the exhaust fumes that could be deadly.
- Sit tight and wait if you can. Chances are that if you've taken the right steps you're going to be found.
Once the Emergency is Over
Make sure that you replenish the supplies that you used in your emergency kit and take steps to keep your car prepared.