The fan belt breaks, you run out of gas, or some other mishap occurs leaving you broken down on the side of the road. You are now a stranded motorist. If you have planned ahead and have quality roadside assistance, the experience will hopefully be resolved quickly and ultimately be just a minor blip on the radar.
However, being a stranded motorist, even for a short amount of time, carries various risks. Below are some of the most common risks that stranded motorists face, and how you can prepare to deal with them should you find yourself broken down on the side of the road.
If you do not live in an area that goes below freezing, you might not think that this should be a big concern for you. However, there are many different ways the weather can impact your safety. Extreme heat can be even more dangerous than extreme cold, causing extreme discomfort, dehydration, and even heat stroke.
How to Prepare
Keep an emergency kit in the trunk of your car. Make sure this kit has blankets and other weather appropriate clothing for your climate, as well as a large jug of water to help keep you hydrated. It is also a good idea to keep ponchos in your emergency kit in case you will need to exit the car in the rain. Always exercise caution when exiting the vehicle and continue to wear your seatbelts while inside.
Crashes and Injury
Even if you manage to get your car completely off the road and onto the shoulder, you are still at a significantly increased risk of experiencing a car crash. Occasionally motorists will veer onto the shoulder while driving and may not realize that your car isn’t moving until it is too late. Often, the shoulder is too small to both fit your vehicle and also give you sufficient space to exit it safely.
How to Prepare
First, make sure you know how to turn on your emergency lights. Next, purchase magnetic reflectors that you can place on the back of your car should you end up stranded. Should this occur, turn on your emergency lights as soon as possible. Then, once you can safely exit the car, place the reflectors before returning to your car or going somewhere else you are safe.
Vandalism and Theft
If you must temporarily abandon your vehicle, these are definite possibilities. In 2012, there were 721,053 motor vehicle thefts in the United States, and the likelihood of theft occurring is significantly higher in areas with less foot traffic and visibility. And this theft is not limited to taking the vehicle; many thieves are only looking to take parts. Vandalism is likewise a very real risk.
How to Prepare
The truth is that this is a problem that is difficult to prepare for. Before leaving your vehicle, secure it as best as you can. As soon as you are able to, move it to a more secure location.
Quality Roadside Assistance for Stranded Motorists
While there are many things you can do to prepare yourself for becoming a stranded motorist, this best thing you can do is invest in quality roadside assistance, either through national programs or local towing companies. Building a relationship with your local towing outlet will be very helpful when you are in your hour of need. While other methods can help you cope with a difficult situation, quality roadside assistance can get you out of that situation, fast.