Knowledge is power when it comes to surviving a scary auto emergency. Try to remain calm and level-headed when faced with the unexpected. Here are some common emergencies and advice to help prepare you before you need it.
Shift the transmission to a lower gear to slow the car down. If you see a curb, rub the tires against it to further slow down. Shift into neutral if you haven’t already. Apply the emergency brake. Steer to the side of the road, then switch off the engine. Call for a tow truck.
Flat tire or blowout
Take your foot off the gas, but don’t apply the brakes. Turn on your flashers and slowly move to the side of the road, then brake. If you do not know how to change a tire, call for help. If you do know how, proceed only in a safe location.
Take a deep breath and turn on your hazard flashers. If possible, pull over to the side of the road. Assess your injuries before leaving your vehicle. Do not move anyone who is badly injured unless necessary for their safety. Call 911 and begin to document the scene.
Locked keys inside
If you don’t keep an extra set of keys on you, call 911 if you are in an unsafe location. If you feel safe, call a locksmith or your roadside assistance service. Check your insurance policy as some cover this emergency.
Out of gas
As soon as you realize you are running out of gas, get your vehicle to the side of the road. Shut off the engine to avoid seizing up the fuel pump. Turn on your emergency flashers, then call an emergency road side service or friend to bring you gas. If those aren’t possible, call a tow truck.
Turn on the heater full blast to drain heat from the engine. Pull over to the side of the road, and turn off the engine. Unless you see steam, open the hood to release the heat. Wait 30 minutes before adding coolant. Call roadside assistant or a friend if you don’t have coolant. If these options aren’t available, call a tow truck.
Keeping your car properly maintained could prevent an emergency altogether. Auto care centers, like National Transmissions, can help identify potential problems during a factory recommended maintenance check such as tire and battery condition. Drive safely.
Karleia is a freelance blogger. Away from the office she enjoys scrapbooking and enjoying time with friends and family.