Car troubles create stressful situations, especially when you're traveling alone and you don't know what to do. If you have a road trip planned, be prepared for unexpected car troubles. You never know when you'll be faced with a flat tire or engine failure. If they do happen while you're on your road trip, here are five steps that will help you through the situation.
1. Don't Panic
If you're on the road when you encounter problems with your car, don't panic. Panic won't help you recover from your car problems. Take a deep breath and get a firm grip on your steering wheel. You don't want a car accident to compound the problems you're already faced with.
2. Move to the Side
If you're a new driver, and you've never experienced car problems before, your first thought may be to stop right where you are. Don't do that. You want to get as far off the road as you possibly can, especially if you're on a freeway or highway. As soon as you realize you have an issue, turn your hazard lights on. This will let other motorists know that you have an emergency situation.
First, check the lanes for traffic. Second, slowly take your foot off the gas as you move to the side of the road. Finally, get as far onto the shoulder as you can before you turn off the engine. If your engine has failed, coast as far as you can before coming to a complete stop.
3. Make Yourself Visible
Once you've made it safely to the side of the road, make yourself as visible as possible. You want other motorists to be able to see you. If you have an emergency roadside kit in your car, carefully get out of your car and set flares up on the roadway. If you have reflective triangle signs, set those up as well.
If you don't have an emergency kit with you, leave your hazard lights on so that you're visible to passing motorists. If you break down at night, don't forget to turn your lights off. You don't want to drain your battery while you wait for assistance. Your hazard lights and flares will be enough visibility.
4. Call for Roadside Assistance
After you've set up your emergency gear, call for roadside assistance. If you have roadside assistance on your auto policy, contact your insurance company to request a tow truck. Your insurance company will dispatch a tow truck to your location. If you're out of state, don't worry. Your roadside assistance policy provides coverage wherever you are in the United States.
When the tow company calls you, let them know exactly where you are and what your car looks like. This information will help the tow driver find you more easily. If you're alone, let the dispatcher know that. The tow company may be able to make your call a priority.
5. Wait in Your Car Until Help Arrives
If you're parked on the side of the road, stay in your car until help arrives. If you're out on the road, you may be struck by a passing motorist. While you're in your car, leave the doors locked and the windows rolled up. Don't open your door to anyone except the tow truck driver, especially if you're traveling alone.
If you're about to take off on your first solo road trip, know what to do in an emergency. The tips provided here will keep you safe if you encounter problems with your car while you're traveling. If you need roadside assistance in Shasta County, contact us at Shasta County Towing. We'll handle your roadside emergency quickly and safely.