This year, millions of Canadians will hit the road for a vacation or perhaps just a fun and relaxing road trip. It is a good way to get away from it all and not think about the rat race and tensions of everyday life. However, while you travel all kinds of things can happen if you are not prepared. Here are 5 tips to keep you safe when you suddenly find yourself stranded on the road.
1. Know Where You Are
If you have GPS onboard, this should not be a problem. However, not everyone has this luxury, so look around for landmarks or highway markers. Your location is very important if you need to tell someone where you are. The better directions they have, the quicker you can receive the kind of help you need.
2. Be Careful with Flat Tires
If you are driving along and notice a tire is flat, the last thing you want to do is panic. Here is what you should do:
- Do not slam on the brakes. This can actually cause you to lose control of the car and it could result in a terrible disaster.
- Hold the steering wheel tightly and slow down, and look for a place to park.
- Pull your car over as far as you safely can. If there is an exit ramp, drive to the ramp. In fact, it’s better to drive on a flat tire and ruin the tire, than take your chances alongside the highway.
- Don’t try to change your tire along the highway. Each year, people are killed trying to do something to their cars. When other cars pass you at high speed, it only takes a bump to cause serious problems.
3. Wait for Help
If you have called for help, stay inside the vehicle, if you are unfamiliar with the location and safely off the main highway. Lock the doors and keep your cell phone handy to call 911 if you are bothered by someone. Also, do not walk to the nearest exit if you have already summoned help. It’s too easy to get run over by drivers that are talking or texting on cell phones.
4. When Your Car is Stranded on the Highway, Get out!
This can happen when you have sudden engine failure. The car stops and there is no way you can pull over. Put on the emergency flashers and get out as soon as it is safe. Take your cell phone and only important things with you. If you stay inside, you run the risk of a collision which can lead to serious injury or even death.
Once you exit the car, get far off to side of the road. Do not take any chances by going back to the car once you have left.
If you have an emergency flare now is the time to use it. This can help you avoid collisions with other vehicles. However, if you smell brake fluid, gasoline, or any kind of combustible chemicals around the car, do not light a flare. This could result in a serious fire hazard.
5. Make Sure You Have Roadside Assistance
Roadside assistance can help you in many ways and it is very inexpensive. In fact, it can be included on some auto insurance policies. Call your broker today for more details.