Roadside emergencies are overwhelmingly common. Unfortunately, it seems like the least prepared people are usually those who wind up facing inconvenience and even danger. Don’t get caught unprepared if an emergency happens while you’re on the road—here, Riggs Roadside Assistance shows you how to get ready for any eventuality.
Create a Roadside Emergency Kit
While you can call a service like Riggs Roadside Assistance for towing, lockouts, and other emergency services, it’s also a good idea to put together an emergency kit, including the following items that can assist with various scenarios.
Jumper Cables (& a Power Source)
Jumper cables are essential because even without a power source, you can ask a passerby for a jump start.
Also note, power packs can fit in your vehicle’s glove box and hold enough juice to manage most tasks. Auto Simple suggests investing in a portable power pack for jumping batteries and powering devices. Just make sure it always remains charged, just in case.
Flares or Reflectors
If you break down anywhere near a roadway, you’ll need flares, reflectors, or another highly visible object to make other drivers aware.
Especially if you’re close to the road or parked on a curve, flares can alert vehicles to your presence so they can avoid hitting you.
Extra motor oil ensures you have some on hand if you experience a leak or other engine malfunction. A couple of quarts is ideal—and don’t forget the funnel.
A Tire Jack
A tire jack (and spare tire) is vital for every roadside emergency kit. Practice changing your tire ahead of time so you feel comfortable. This makes it easier to manage in high-stress situations.
A First Aid Kit
Your car isn’t the only priority in an emergency. A first aid kit ensures you can handle minor injuries should they occur.
A Small Toolkit
You never know when you might need a small screwdriver or just a fuse removal tool. Keep the necessities in a toolbox in your trunk or glove box.
Don’t Forget About Insurance Coverage
While packing tools and supplies for a breakdown is a smart move, you shouldn’t neglect insurance coverage for your auto. While not all plans include roadside assistance (it may be an add-on that costs more), you should have sufficient coverage to protect your finances if you get in an accident. Reviewing your insurance policy is a crucial step toward preparing for emergencies. Make sure you don’t have expensive coverage that you don’t need. Also check around for rates with top insurers to get the best deal possible.
Perform Preventative Maintenance
Regular maintenance is another vital step toward staying safe on the road. Especially in poor weather, bad tires can be a significant hazard. Check your tires regularly, especially on larger vehicles like trucks. If you need new tires, research your options thoroughly and find the right ones for your vehicle.
Of course, even newer tires require proper inflation to be safe in all conditions. Along with checking tire pressure and tread, you should also check your vehicle’s oil regularly and top off all fluids. This way, you can avoid equipment failures due to poor maintenance.
Stay Connected (& Safe)
You likely always keep your smartphone within arm’s reach. And from navigation help and connectivity to emergency services, your phone can prove invaluable. First responders can even use the GPS signal to find you if your car goes off the road. So in order to stay connected and safe, make sure to keep a charger nearby that quickly powers your device. This way, if an emergency does happen, your phone will have enough juice for making calls and using emergency features.
Being prepared goes a long way toward managing emergencies. Whatever the outcome, having adequate supplies on hand makes it easier to get back on the road ASAP. And by getting your roadside kit ready and adding the phone number of an emergency roadside assistance to your contacts list (you can reach Riggs Roadside Assistance 24/7 at (803) 288-7376), you can feel more confident in your travels.