But, if and when it happens, wouldn’t you like to know what to do?
Let’s take a moment together and go over some important and valuable lessons to consider, perhaps you may pay the lesson forward through community empowerment and share it with your friends and neighbors…
To begin, let’s acknowledge that there are many reasons you may have an emergency situation:
* YOU HIT A MASSIVE POTHOLE AND HEAR YOUR TIRE POP.
* SMOKE STARTS BILLOWING FROM YOUR ENGINE ON THE HIGHWAY.
* THAT CHECK ENGINE LIGHT COMES ON AND SOMETHING SMELLS FUNNY IN YOUR CAR.
* A MASSIVE PREHISTORIC BUG AND IT CLOGS YOUR INTAKE VALVE.
Hey…This stuff happens all the time (OK, maybe not the Prehistoric bug one)…..and when it does you can react one of two ways; you can panic and spill your expensive Starbucks all over your car or you can be smart and calmly finish your latte!
To handle roadside emergencies and being stranded the smart way, take a gander at these Steps:
1. GET OFF THE ROAD.
First things first, if you’re driving and something happens to your car, move off the road quickly (and safely). Get out of the flow of traffic. Look for a wide shoulder, emergency lane, rest stop, exit, or parking lot. You always want to move towards the furthest right lane or shoulder. But even if it means destroying a blown tire or wheel well in the process, you need to pull over! Just remember to never stop in traffic or places that are hard to see, like blind corners, over hills, or on narrow roads and bridges.
2 LET PEOPLE KNOW THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG.
Find the hazard button in your car (it’s the big one with the red triangle on it) and put your hazard lights on. This’ll let people know you’ve got car issues and not just taking a little mid-trip snooze.
3. DON’T LEAVE THE CAR UNTIL YOU’RE OUT OF TRAFFIC.
Never get out of the car until you’ve safely moved it out of the flow of traffic. If you can’t get your car out of harm’s way, don’t get out, even to pop the hood or check out the damage.
4. SAFELY EXIT THE CAR.
If it’s safe, get out of the car on the opposite side of traffic, even if you have to crawl over the passenger seat. Like getting out of a taxi, you never want to open the car door on the traffic side! Once you’re out of the car though, go ahead and pop the hood, check out your tire, examine the damage and attempt any kind of repairs (if you know what you’re doing). Generally speaking though, it’s safer to keep everyone clear of the car and wait for help to come.
5. INCREASE YOUR VISIBILITY.
You may want to mark your location with flares or triangles. At the very least you’ll want to raise your vehicle’s hood. This’ll let everyone know that you’re having car problems and need help.
6. CALL YOUR INSURANCE ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE.
If you don’t have it, get it!! You will be surprised how inexpensive it is to add Roadside assistance. They are there to help, 24/7. So put the number in your cell phone or inside your glove box so while being stranded, you’re not scrambling to find it during the time of need.
7. STAY WITH YOUR CAR.
It’s important not to leave your car. It may take some time, but it’s more practical to meet help, a tow truck, or the police at the scene of your disabled vehicle than at a nearby burger joint.
8. KEEP SOME EMERGENCY SUPPLIES IN YOUR CAR.
Take a lesson from the Boy Scouts and always be prepared! Keep a blanket and first aid kit (or at least some water) in your car. And if you know how to use them, it’s also a good idea to have a spare tire, jack, fix-a-flat, and other simple repair tools in the car.
9. PUT YOUR HOOD DOWN.
Once your done changing the tire or the tow-truck is on the scene, put the hood down and store any flares or other emergency signals. Otherwise a driver may try to risk slowing down to help.
10. BE GREEN! CLEAN UP THE SCENE.
Clean up whatever packaging, trash, and debris you left around the area. Littering is bad news, and abandoning a broken car part is wasteful and could be a road hazard for other drivers.
GET EMPOWERED—TAKE CONTROL—STAY FEARLESS WHILE BEING STRANDED