Being stranded in your car can be a scary experience. But if you’re prepared, you don’t need to worry. Follow these tips below to help you stay safe and find the help that you need in an emergency situation.
Don’t Abandon Your Car
Walking away from your car can be dangerous if you’re far from any city or town. Especially if you are caught in a storm, your car offers great shelter. Don’t abandon the car unless you know there is a city or help nearby.
If you get stuck on the side of the road, tie a fluorescent flag on your antenna or hang it outside of your window. If night comes before help arrives, use a flashlight or your car’s dome light. Try and have someone stay awake - or take shifts throughout the night - to ensure that if someone passes in a car, someone is awake to signal for help.
Call for Help
If you have a phone, use it. Try and describe your location as precisely as possible. Where were you driving from? Where are you going? What road are you on? What landmarks do you see nearby? All of this information will help them locate you if you need help.
Don’t Use Gas All at Once
Run the engine periodically to run the heater for warmth. But even with a full tank, you’d be surprised at how fast the car can run to empty. Don’t run your vehicle for longer than 20 minutes at a time. If you’re stuck in the cold, run the heat on high as possible when the engine is on. Try to go as long as you can between intervals of turning the engine on. Also, be sure that your exhaust isn’t covered while you’re idling.
Go Crazy on the Horn
Your horn and lights are a great way to signal where you are and that you need help. However, your car battery can only go so long before it loses all of its juice. Remember that while the car is idling you can use the horn and lights as much as possible. While the engine is idling, the battery isn’t in use and the engine is powering the lights and horn.
Don’t Drive with an Empty Car
Your car can be a great asset if you use it correctly. So, why not start with the upper hand and add some emergency items to your car? You should have a supply of water and food to help you in a time of need. Also prepare wisely with jumper cables, a flashlight, emergency radio, etc.
If you’re stuck in your car during the summer, you will need to stay hydrated and make sure you are drinking water. Even during a winter snowstorm, you’d be surprised at how quickly your body can lose water. Pack water in your auto emergency kit. Especially if you are going to be in your car for 48 hours, you'll need to have food and water.
Try and insulate your heat as much as possible during a winter storm. The metal parts of your car are going to make it a little harder to insulate your vehicle but try and use blankets, floor mats or any part of the car to try and insulate your body heat.
Shoveling snow or pushing your car can take a lot of effort in a storm. Don’t risk an injury. Besides a risk of injury, the exertion will make you hot and sweaty. Wet clothes lose insulation value and make your more susceptible to hypothermia. Instead, try and do light exercises in your vehicle - stretching your arms and legs from time to time.
So, what plans do you have in place for your vehicle’s emergency kit? Comment below sharing what items are most helpful for you and your family.