A very dear friend was recently stranded in her car on a very cold winter night. She ran out of gas and wasn't nervous about it until she went to use her cell phone and the battery wasn't charged. Fortunately, a good samaritan family stopped to see if they could help. Here are some things we all need to think about before we get in the car, even to go a short distance.
I am sure there are more good tips, but these are all I can think of right now.
By Bobbie from Rockwall, TX
Editor's Note: Another good tip is to keep phone numbers for any road side assistance programs you belong to. Feel free to post your ideas below.
Excellent suggestions. One more would be to keep bottled water in the car (not the trunk). Be sure to replace by the expiration date. One can live without food longer than water--and when you'll be "rescued" is unknown. This is especially important in the summer.
Something that helped us once was having a few drinking straws in the car. We dropped something under the hood in an area that we couldn't reach by hand. By putting the straws together and putting a piece of "chewed" chewing gum on the tip of the straw we were able to reach the item.
I"m not sure you should turn off the car if the accelerator is stuck- in many models, that would also disable the power steering and brakes. You might want to shift into neutral and steer to the side of the road first.
Also- would a screwdriver break a car window? They are made of a strong safety glass.
And- if you keep ANYTHING in your car, make sure it is secured. I recently took a safe driving course and the instructor said many people are injured, often severely, in accidents because the junk is propelled forward during an impact, often hitting the driver in the back of the head.
Another good idea I have always done is when you get a new cell phone. ALWAYS buy the charger for the car with the phone at the same time. Living in a Hurricane Zone here in South Carolina. I always make sure we have a charger with every phone my husband and I have. if there is a Hurricane and If the home phone goes and the towers are still standing we always have that as a back up. Thanks for the great tips!
Good tips. I once walked 2-1/2 miles home and then 2-1/2 miles back again when I locked myself out of my car at Walgreen's. My spare key didn't do me much good hanging on its hook at home.
In my cardboard box "care package" in the car, I also keep an extra leash for my dog, a bottle of water and an extra water dish (16-oz. cottage cheese container) for her. If we unexpectedly find a new park (the only kind of "emergency" I want to have), we're ready. I know you should always have a leash with you when you have your dog out, but sometimes we just hop in the car and go and I forget.
I also keep a can of Pepsi and some candy for me. Now I think I'd better get a safer box, one with a cover on it.
After driving the ALCAN highway five times, I have learned a few tricks, too.
If you can, be the first in a line of parked cars to rest. You can't get hemmed in. I used a lanyard for keys. Often stopping at porta potties, you learn never to have your keys in your pockets lest they be lost forever.
I didn't have a remote lock so I left my car unlocked in case I had to run and get in fast. I feared the four legged kind of adversary more than the two legged, but both make your car your best place to be.
Nuts and seeds last longer than snack bars or such but yes, water is more essential than food.
A small hammer is better for breaking glass or self protection. A tool kit for smaller breakdowns is good. And remember that if you lose some lug nuts, 3 will get you to a repair place if you drive slow.
DON'T rely too heavily on a GPS. My roommate and her partner almost died from getting too high on a mountain that didn't have a road closed sign up.
I hope these help.
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