Whether you’re traveling to another city, another state, or across the country, there’s always a possibility of car troubles. If you don’t want to encounter such problems, you better take public transportation, but that is nothing compared to the job of going on a road trip adventure. So pack your bags and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime, provided that you know what to do in case your car—whether owned or rented—suddenly breaks down in the middle of the road.
Use a Well-maintained Car
The only way for you to avoid car problems is to use a well-maintained car. This means that having your car checked before the great road trip. If you have an old, beaten-down car, don’t trust it too much for the journey. Rent one instead. That, at least, will give you some sort of protection. You know that car rental companies have to maintain their cars well, so they don’t get in trouble with their clients and customers.
Have an On-call Car Mechanic
Have you grown close to your auto mechanic? If so, have his/her number on speed dial. Make sure they know you’re taking a long road trip, so they’ll somehow expect your call from the middle of Route 66. They can guide you via phone call on what to do to your car. Maybe a couple of cables and knobs that get loose will restart the car. At the very least, they can maybe find a car mechanic somewhere near you and explain on your behalf the history of your car’s repairs and replacements. A conversation between car mechanics will still give you a better chance of having your car problems checked out correctly.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Travelers make the mistake of trusting their vehicles too much that they don’t pack an emergency kit. Don’t be that kind. An emergency kit in your trunk can spell the difference between a catastrophe and a minor problem. The kit should have an extra charger, jumper cables, a first-aid kit, water, and non-perishable food. Just in case you find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere for the rest of the night, you should still be okay to wait until the morning when you can find help.
A gallon of fuel will also make sense to have. Just in case you have to turn on the car’s engine for air-conditioner or heater, you will still have enough fuel to last the night. Don’t forget that in some places, gas stations are miles apart.
Ensure Everyone’s Safety
When you are traveling, your car’s and belonging’s safety are second to yours and your family’s. Make sure that everyone is safe first, then call the police for some guidance on where to go. Maybe a police car can even pick you up and bring you to the nearest motel. Call assistance as soon as possible when you get stuck in an unknown location. Lock the doors and stay inside the cars as you wait for help.
If you are in the middle of a busy highway, then turn on your hazard lights so everyone passing you by knows you are having car problems. Again, lock the doors and wait until help arrives. Try not to ask for help from strangers since you don’t know what might come out of it.
Contact the Insurance or Car Rental Company
First, the car insurance company should provide roadside assistance for its policyholders. If that is not included in your policy, you can call a roadside assistance company instead. You can pay for the membership over the phone. This is why it’s important to have your credit card details with you. The company will then tow your car to the nearest repair shop and assist you in finding accommodations for the night. Some policies will even cover the cost of your accommodation.
The car rental company should also have roadside assistance. Since this is one of their cars, they will be concerned about where to bring it or how to bring it back to their headquarters. The company should also provide you with a new rental car.
Do Your Research
Even before you leave for the road trip, identify the places where internet connection will be a problem. This way, you can list down the needed emergency numbers that you can contact via your mobile phone or a nearby landline phone. You shouldn’t have trouble asking for help if there’s an internet signal. You can check out the nearest repair shops, including reviews and feedback from past customers.
Road trips are always fun, but they also come with a lot of responsibilities. Make sure you are prepared for these emergencies. This way, you can enjoy the trip without worrying about getting stuck on Route 66 with no way to get help.