Though we don’t like to think about it, and sometimes find ourselves saying, “I’m a super-careful driver; it’s never going to happen to me,” you will find yourself in some type of roadside emergency at some point in your driving life.
What is a roadside emergency?
A roadside emergency in Arkansas can be anything: an accident, broken tailpipe or even oil pan from a pothole hit or sudden dip in the road, dead battery, overheated engine, should’ve stopped at that last gas station, anything.
We’re here to help you with some tips about what to do should you find yourself in any of these situations–or others–to minimize the stress and fear.
Your auto insurance policy may cover roadside assistance—this is what it’s here for.
If you find yourself stuck on the side of the road, use your phone to get your GPS settings for when you call for assistance, whether from police or other services, so you have the information necessary to tell them, “I am at x and y,” rather than “I have no idea, but I think I saw a store of some type a couple of miles back.” (This happens, trust us!
You may be driving in an unfamiliar area and have no idea where you’re stuck.)
Roadside emergency essentials to keep in your car
Before heading off on a long road trip, it’s always best to do some general checks first, such as checking tire pressure, oil level, radiator fluid, etc. While these should be checked on a regular maintenance schedule, it’s essential to check before a long drive. In the trunk of your car should always be:
- Spare tire, ready to be used, inflated to the proper level and in good shape
- Jumper cables
- Reflective triangles
- First aid kit
- Reflective vest, in case you break down at night or in a poorly-lit area
- If you don’t have a cellphone, a spare basic one, plus car charger, to use in emergencies
- GPS navigator or app
Always safely move your car to the right shoulder of the road. However, always maintain safety; if this necessitates crossing lanes of traffic, move it to the left shoulder or island if it is wide enough.
If you’re on a bridge, drive or push your car off behind the guardrail to ensure you’re out of the flow of traffic.
Make sure your car is highly visible by turning on your emergency flashers, using reflective warning triangles a bit ahead of and behind your car.
These can be found in many emergency kits at auto supply and safety supply shops.
Remember: If you’re unable to move your car from its position in a lane of traffic, be smart—do not remove your seat belt, immediately call 911 (this is an emergency), turn on your flashers, and do not exit your car.
Stay in your vehicle, unless you can stand behind a guardrail.
Use common sense if you’re stuck there waiting for a tow truck or emergency services—standing on the side of a road always carries a risk of getting hit by another vehicle.
While you hope it never happens, if you keep these tips and guides in mind, you’ll be sure to remain as safe and secure as possible when and if it does!
Give us here at M&P Insurance a call, contact us via email, or stop in, and we can help you determine you’ve got the correct coverage you need for your car travel needs.