Vehicles are machines and, no matter how cutting edge they are, they’re bound to experience breakdowns and emergency situations – there are simply too many parts involved. These situations are always inconvenient, whether you’re going on a business trip, or traveling to the countryside, and being prepared and knowing exactly what to do is crucial in avoiding panic attacks that are likely to ensue. Here’s what to do in case of 5 most common roadside emergencies.
1. Warning Lights
The biggest mistake that drivers tend to make when it comes to warning lights is disregarding them and attributing the potential issue to a vehicle’s computer error. Although older vehicles do have a tendency of experiencing software issues, this isn’t a rule of thumb and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Brake light – If this light is on, you should focus on your brake pedal; if it feels spongy or if it goes all the way to the floor, you need to pull over and immediately have your vehicle towed to a service facility. On the other hand, if it feels too firm, try adding more brake fluid.
- Traction/stability control light – This is generally a clear sign of a system problem, which means that your vehicle is still drivable. However, be careful on slippery roads and in turns.
- ABS light – Similarly to the previous type of warning lights, if your ABS light is on, you can still operate your vehicle, but you need to be careful on slippery roads.
2. Dead Battery
This is one of the most common roadside emergencies – you might’ve accidentally left the lights on the previous night, or you just might be out of luck, but without a functioning battery, your car isn’t going anywhere. Provided that you find a Good Samaritan to help you jump-start a dead battery, here’s how to do it:
- Turn off all electrical accessories in both vehicles.
- Take the positive jumper clamp and connect it to the remote terminals on the vehicle with a charged battery and do the same on the dead vehicle.
- Do the same for the negative jumper clamp.
- Start the functioning vehicle and keep it running for at least five minutes; this will charge up the dead battery.
3. Flat Tire
This part is fairly straightforward and, if you have your vehicle’s owner’s manual (which you always should), just follow the instructions. Sometimes, fixing a flat tire is an option, but changing it is the best way to go! Keep in mind, however, that even changing your own tire isn’t always advisable. For example, if you are on a highway or a narrow street, especially at night, and you experience a flat tire on the driver’s side, refer to roadside assistance; you don’t want to risk getting hit by another vehicle.
4. Running out of Gas
This may seem ridiculous, but going dry on the road can happen to anyone – people forget to fill up their tanks or find themselves on stretches of road without a single gas pump in sight. Of course, hoping that someone will offer to tow you to the nearest gas station is always an option, but calling for emergency petrol delivery might be your best bet, especially during the night.
5. Accident s
Accidents are without a doubt the most critical roadside emergency on this list (and in general). In case of an accident you should first check for injuries. If anyone is even slightly injured, do not move them and call 911 immediately. Secondly, locate any witnesses and get their account of the accident, as well as their name, address and phone numbers. Finally, be it a fender bender, or a rollover, always call the police and do not make any deals, as your insurance company will require a full report!
No matter how common these five roadside emergencies are, people are often completely unprepared. This is why you always need to have the emergency kit inside your vehicle, a spare tire and all the necessary contacts for roadside emergencies in your phonebook.