We’ve all been there – cruising along in our trusty vehicle with our minds at ease, then suddenly an emergency strikes. Maybe your car careens off the road because of a blown tire. Or maybe it breaks down because the engine has overheated. Unfortunately, automotive crises are a common occurrence for many drivers; every five years, a typical individual will be involved in a car accident or breakdown.
The National Safety Council estimates that one in eight drivers will have to deal with a flat tire and one in four will have to deal with a dead battery while behind the wheel. These statistics emphasize the need to always be prepared for emergencies so you don’t run into any major issues.
That being said, while car breakdowns are often unanticipated and distressing, they don’t need to be a nightmare. You can be ready for everything that happens on the road if you take some simple measures and have a strategy in place for the most typical vehicle emergencies.
This article delves into the seven most common emergencies for which every driver should be prepared. We’ll go through what to do in a variety of scenarios, from a dead battery to a battery failure to a road collision, and give you some useful pointers to keep you safe and get you back on the road as soon as possible. Get comfortable, brew some coffee, and we’ll get started.
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Car Emergency 1 – Flat Tire
Don’t panic if you get a flat tire while driving. The first step involves stopping on the side of the road away from oncoming traffic. To let other drivers know that you’re having car difficulty, activate your hazard lights.
Next, get the jack, lug wrench, and spare tire out of the boot. See your owner’s handbook if you don’t know where to find these components. The flat tire’s lug nuts should be loosened using the lug wrench, but not removed just yet. Jack up your vehicle by positioning it beneath the right area (again, check your owner’s handbook if you’re uncertain) and raising the handle. After the vehicle is elevated, the flat tire can be removed by loosening the lug nuts.
Tighten the lug nuts by hand once you’ve swapped out the flat tire for the spare. After using the jack to lower the vehicle back to the ground, tighten the lug nuts using the lug wrench. Make sure all the lug nuts are securely tightened before putting away the jack, lug wrench, and flat tire. Have your flat tire mended or changed at the closest tire shop.
Have a spare tire, jack, and lug wrench in your vehicle at all times in case of a flat. You can fix a flat tire with these tools and some basic roadside assistance knowledge.
Car Emergency 2 – Dead Battery
A dead battery is a frequent issue that can be fixed in a few easy ways. That’s why there’s no need to get all stressed out.
Your first option is to attempt a jump start with jumper cables and another vehicle. Have the cars face each other with their hoods touching. Ensure both cars are turned off. Connect the positive end of the jumper wire to the terminal on the dead battery, while the other end should be connected to the terminal on the running car’s battery. Then, connect the other end of the negative jumper wire to a metal surface on your vehicle that is not painted and far from the battery.
Now, start the running car and let it run idle for a while. After a few minutes, attempt to start your car. If it doesn’t work and the vehicle still won’t start, it may be time to get a new battery. To get your vehicle to a repair shop, you’ll need to arrange for roadside assistance or a tow.
Maintaining a healthy battery and charging system can help you avoid having to jump-start your vehicle in the future. If you’re having battery or charging system problems, a professional should take a look at your battery connections regularly for corrosion. Keep in mind that it’s irritating to deal with a dead vehicle battery, but you can get back on the road quickly by following the above instructions
Car Emergency 3 – Lockout
It’s quite annoying when you can’t get in your car. Maybe you have lost your car keys or locked them inside the vehicle by mistake. Keep your cool as this is a relatively easy situation to get out from. Look for a spare key, just in case you have it handy and accessible. If not, then you should try alternative exits, such as other windows or doors. It’s possible you might get into your car without calling roadside assistance.
If these solutions don’t work, you’ll need to contact a reliable roadside assistance service. They will come with the necessary equipment to unlock your vehicle and get you back on the road. It might take anything from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the type of vehicle you drive and its lock.
Staying safe and comfortable is essential while waiting for assistance to come. Go to a safe spot and be cautious of your surroundings if you find yourself lost in a risky place. Protect yourself from harsh weather and drink plenty of water if you can.
You can avoid future lockouts by never leaving your keys in the vehicle and carrying a backup set on you at all times. You can further reduce the likelihood of being locked out by installing a keyless entry system or taking additional precautions.
Keep in mind that anyone might find themselves locked out of their car. You can get back on the road fast and simply by being cool, contacting expert assistance, and taking measures to avoid repeat lockouts.
Car Emergency 4 – Overheated Engine
An overheated engine is a major issue, but it’s easy to fix if you know what to do. Take immediate action if you see that your engine temperature gauge is higher than usual, or if you smell burning oil or coolant. Pull over at a safe spot and shut off your car’s engine first. Wait until the engine has cooled before lifting the bonnet. This might take up to 30 minutes, so you have to be patient.
The engine must be allowed to cool before you open the bonnet and check the coolant level. Bear in mind that it is possible to cool down the engine by adding extra coolant if the coolant level is low. It’s important to use the recommended coolant for your car and to do so in accordance with the manual.
If the coolant level is normal, check for any leaks in the cooling system. Inspect the water pump, radiator, and hoses for any indications of cracking or damage. Call roadside assistance or a tow truck to get your vehicle to a repair shop if you see any leaks or damage.
Make it a habit to check the coolant level and look for damage to the cooling system on a regular basis to avoid future engine overheating. Apart from that, if you don’t have working air conditioning, refrain from driving in the heat.
Car Emergency 5 – Running Out Of Gas
While it appears to be a simple matter of being diligent and keeping an eye on the fuel gauge, every once in a while we all run into this problem. Although you find yourself stuck in the middle of the road, it’s an easy problem to solve.
To begin, choose a safe place to pull over and turn on your warning lights. If you need to get out of the path of traffic, do so on the shoulder of a major road or highway. You can avoid all potential collisions this way.
Once you have parked your car at a safe spot, get some gas by calling a tow truck or roadside help. Take care of yourself and your belongings while you wait. Go somewhere cool and shady if the weather is hot. Wear several layers or wrap yourself in a blanket if you are chilly.
After you have gas, gently pour it into the tank. Be careful not to let any liquid escape, as that can be a potential fire hazard. It is also recommended to check the accuracy of your fuel gauge to ensure it intimates you at the right time.
In the future, you won’t have to worry about running out of gas if you keep an eye on your fuel gauge and prepare ahead of time for lengthy excursions or periods of heavy driving. Be prepared for a gas stop by carrying a backup gas can and keeping track of nearby gas stations.
Car Emergency 5 – Electrical System Failure
An electrical system breakdown is frustrating and sometimes hazardous and no one wants to deal with it. Warning indicators of an impending electrical system breakdown include fading headlights and a non-functioning radio.
If you run into this problem, seek out the cause of the issue first. Make sure the terminals on your battery are clean and the connections are tight. Your battery may need to be changed if it is old or damaged. You should also check the fuses to make sure they are not blown.
Call for roadside assistance or a tow truck if you are unsure how to fix the issue or unable to move the vehicle safely. An expert technician can identify the problem and make the necessary repairs in a timely and secure manner.
Inspecting and maintaining your batteries, fuses, and other electrical components on a regular basis can help avoid future electrical system failures. If you want to keep your battery and alternator in good shape, avoid connecting too many accessories and gadgets to your electrical system at once.
Car Emergency 6 – Transmission Failure
When your transmission fails, you are basically trapped on the side of the road. Slipping gears or strange sounds are both indicators of transmission issues that need immediate attention.
First, see if you can figure out what’s wrong by inspecting the quality and quantity of your transmission fluid. It’s possible that the trouble you’re having with your gearbox is due to low fluid or contaminated fluid. In many situations, adding or replacing the transmission fluid will fix the problem.
If your fluid level and quality are both satisfactory or the problem still continues to persist after you’ve changed the fluid, you should contact roadside assistance or a tow truck. You will need to send your vehicle to a qualified mechanic and arrange transportation for yourself.
Checking and changing the transmission fluid and filter on a regular basis can help avoid transmission failure in the future. To prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your gearbox, you should not drive while overloaded or tow more weight than your vehicle can safely handle.
Car Emergency 7 – Getting into an Accident
It’s crucial to know what to do in the case of a car accident to keep yourself and your passengers safe from stress and trauma. Accidents can happen to even the most cautious drivers, so it’s best to be ready for whatever comes and know what to do in the event of an accident.
Here, we’ll go through what to do following an accident or a collision, from maintaining cool to checking for injuries to calling your insurance and getting checked out. You may safeguard your interests and protect yourself after an accident by following these measures.
- Don’t Panic & Stay Calm – The first thing to do after an accident is to make sure you and your passengers are safe. In the event of a life-threatening emergency, dial 911 immediately. If you can, get your car out of the way of traffic and park it somewhere safe.
- Exchange Information – Once you have ensured your safety, it’s time to exchange contact details with the other driver. Obtain their full identification and insurance information. Photograph their license plate, the scene of the collision, and any damage to either car.
- Call the Authorities – If injuries are severe or property damage is extensive, it is essential to alert the police. Your insurance company will be able to utilize the report they generate to investigate your claim. Don’t leave any details out and make sure they know everything that happened.
- Collect Evidence – In the time until the police come, you should collect evidence related to the collision. Document the injuries you or your passengers experienced, along with the damage to your car and any other property. Take down the names and numbers of any potential witnesses.
- Contact Your Insurance – As soon as possible, you should call your insurance provider. They will enquire as to the specifics of the accident and may send an adjuster to evaluate the damage to your car. Be honest with them and provide all the relevant details for your claim.
- Get Medical Help – Get checked out as quickly as possible following an accident, even if you don’t think you’re hurt. Whiplash and internal bleeding, for example, may not show symptoms for many hours or days after an injury.
- Ensure Timely Follow-Up – Make sure your insurance company and medical providers are keeping up with your claim and giving you the care you need by following up with them. Maintain records of anything you get your hands on about the incident; this includes everything from police reports to medical bills to insurance paperwork.
How to Find the Best Roadside Assistance in an Emergency
It’s important to remember that a professional towing and roadside assistance service may be required in many of the scenarios we’ve covered. A trustworthy towing and roadside help service are essential in the event of a breakdown, whether it be something as simple as a flat tire or as serious as an overheated engine or gearbox failure.
Towgrace is one of the leading towing service and roadside assistance providers offering their solutions throughout the US. Towgrace connects you with a dependable and knowledgeable network of towing and roadside assistance companies in a matter of minutes.
All you have to do is provide the location of your vehicle and its make and model. Towgrace will do the hard part and connect you with multiple tow and roadside assistance providers so you can choose the best service depending on your situation.
To sum it up, drivers should always be ready for anything the road may bring. Knowing what to do in the event of a breakdown, whether it’s something as simple as a flat tire or as dangerous as a transmission or brake failure, can keep you and your passengers safe. Keep in mind that you may need the help of a professional towing and roadside assistance agency on numerous occasions. In times of need, having access to a trustworthy service like Towgrace may make all the difference.
Moreover, it is crucial that you keep your cool and your mind on the task at hand throughout any emergency. You can safeguard yourself and your passengers by maintaining your cool and following the guidelines we’ve discussed. Always put safety first while driving, and always take precautions to protect yourself and others.