2.3 million people suffer serious injuries in traffic collisions every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Highway Administration. While collisions remain, by far, the most serious type of incident that faces drivers, there are other scenarios that are less than ideal. Blown out tires, engine trouble, getting stuck on rough roads, and running out of fuel can all ruin the mood of an afternoon in their best case scenarios. However, if you find yourself stranded overnight on a rural road or unable to fix your flat tire on the side of a busy highway, the experience can be even worse, and possibly dangerous. However, there are steps to take in order to mitigate these situations. When disaster strikes, you will be glad that you took the time to outfit your car with the following list of driving essentials and arm yourself with the necessary skills to get out of tricky situations.
Flat Tires are More Common than Most Other Major Break Downs
You may go for years at a time without a flat, or maybe you have never experienced one at all. For those that have, you know just how important it is to have a spare tire in good condition, a tire iron, and, of course, a car jack. Just as important is knowing how to use all of these tools. A driver with experience fixing a flat tire can be back on the road in less than 30 minutes, while those figuring it out for the first time may take hours, or even have to call a tow truck for help.
By practicing tire changes in your driveway or a quiet parking lot near your home, you can figure out the intricacies of this ordeal without the added stress of having to do it for the first time under pressure.
Drained Battery From Leaving the Lights On
A cabin light left on overnight can drain a battery just as easily as a set of headlights. A pair of jumper cables and the knowledge of how to use them will put things back to normal in a matter of minutes. Jumper cables take up almost no space, are inexpensive, and are easy to use once you learn the proper method. Another option exists for those not wishing to wait for the help of a good samaritan. A battery booster can be a quick start option that may be a good idea if you drive on less traveled roads with fewer passing cars to offer help.
Emergency Situations Call for a First Aid Kit, Food, Water, and Tools
If you get stranded, are involved in an accident, or need to perform a minor fix (and have the mechanical knowledge to do so), carrying the following items is necessary.
- First aid kit;
- Headlamp or flashlight;
- Matches or lighter;
- Emergency Blanket;
- Spare jacket and warm clothes;
- Mechanic tools;
- Emergency food;
- Two gallons of water;
- Seat belt cutter in front seat and easily accessible;
- Window breaker in front seat and easily accessible;
- Flares; and
- Reflective triangle and reflective vest.
If you have been involved in an accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney today, because no matter how prepared you are for a given situation, collisions are sometimes unavoidable when another party exhibits severe negligence.
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