How To Stay Safe During a Roadside Breakdown

Have you ever been stranded on the side of the road? If you have, it probably wasn’t a fun experience. But this is one unfortunate aspect of road travel. 

Accidents happen, and breakdowns occur from time to time…

Dealing with the frustration and inconvenience of a breakdown is no laughing matter, and this experience can seem even more harrowing if it happens far from home. And there’s nothing worse than planning a long road trip only to end up stranded on the side of the road, 400 miles from anything familiar.

Thankfully, today, we have an array of technologies and safety measures that we can rely on in the event of a breakdown, and believe it or not, many motorists don’t take advantage of these elements.

If you’re planning an upcoming trip, the following tutorial will give you a better sense of how to be prepared in order to deal with a roadside breakdown. 

Insurance

One of the most important things that you can do to mitigate the inconvenience of breaking down is acquiring quality automobile insurance with roadside assistance. If your auto policy doesn’t have roadside assistance or a towing allowance added, it’s time to shop for new insurance and compare quotes.  

Many motorists across the United States are guilty of not knowing what their auto insurance policy covers. Believe it or not, many aren’t even sure of what their deductible is or of the total amount of coverage they pay for. 

Additionally, most insurance companies do offer roadside assistance of some type, but many others will not add this to your policy unless you specifically ask for it. 

Before taking any long trip, ensure that you know exactly what your auto policy covers so that you won’t be surprised when you break down and can’t get assistance. 

Safety Gear

Any time you take a long trip and travel across the country, you’ll want to plan for contingencies. It’s not uncommon for cars to overheat, for tires to go flat, and for other unforeseen circumstances to arise.

In order to deal with these occurrences effectively, you should plan on packing additional gear for your own well-being.

Now you don’t have to go all out and pack every roadside safety item you see in the store, but there are a few essentials that you’ll want to bring along with you. Consider the following list:

  • Road flares
  • Flashlight
  • Tire patching kit
  • Tire inflator (flat sealant)
  • Portable air compressor
  • Portable battery charger
  • Extra motor oil
  • Coolant 

In addition to the list above, you may also want to keep at least a gallon or two of water on hand along with some food and snacks in case you get stranded for an indefinite amount of time. 

Navigation

Source

Today we have all the modern convenience of GPS systems, many of which are included onboard in your vehicle. Drivers can also rely on their smartphones for planning routes and finding directions, along with many other tasks.

The only problem with digital navigation systems is that they need a signal in order to function to our benefit. And as of 2021, there are still plenty of dead zones all across the country, even in places not too far outside of towns. So what happens if you break down and have to walk to find help? 

As a failsafe, it’s a best practice to learn how to read a map and compass in order to tell direction. Additionally, picking up a detailed atlas, or a map of the area in which you’re driving, is also a good idea, as this will give you the means to navigate in the event that you lose your GPS signal. 

Traveling the open road can be an exhilarating experience, and it can also cause a traveler undue stress if unfavorable conditions arise. As a rule of thumb, before going out on a long trip, make sure that you have all of your safety bases covered.

John Miller
 

John Miller is a cars enthusiast who loves writing anything related to automobiles. He is a passionate blogger writing for innovatecar.com and other auto blogs