Staying Safe on the Streets

Summer is just around the corner, and school kids aren’t the only ones anticipating the vacation. Commuters everywhere rejoice the 10 minutes that will soon be shaved off their morning commute. But summer also means long road trips, insane heat, and one too many items on your weekly to-do list. And sometimes a missed car checkup or too-hot afternoon can mean a breakdown on the side of the road.

How to Prevent a Car Breakdown

Woodstock drivers can minimize the risk of a car breakdown with these basic car maintenance tips:

  • Schedule car maintenance visits at least twice a year
  • Make a habit of checking basic car functionality (tires, lights, fluids, and windshield wipers) at home
  • Make sure you know what your vehicle’s dashboard alerts mean
  • Always keep a spare phone charger and list of emergency phone numbers in your car
  • Pack a stocked emergency roadside kit (including flares, jumper cables, a first aid kit, and water) in the trunk

What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down

If you’re stuck on 575 (or, yikes! 285) when your car breaks down, it’s good to know how to handle the situation.

  • car trouble at nightRemain alert. Assess the situation, monitor nearby vehicles, and determine how quickly you need to get off the road. If possible, find a safe place to pull onto the shoulder. If your car has limited functionality, turn on your emergency flashers to alert other drivers.
  • Take precautions. Once you’re safely pulled over, turn on emergency flashers if you’ve not already done so. Raise your hood to indicate maintenance issues to other drivers. If you have a bright colored or white cloth on hand, tie it somewhere visible on your car’s exterior. Take care when exiting the vehicle; other drivers will be moving at a high rate of speed and may not be paying close attention.
  • Wait for assistance. Call emergency services and notify them of your breakdown. Even if you believe you’ve fixed the problem, wait for law enforcement or roadside assistance to arrive before reentering traffic. If a friendly motorist offers assistance, ask them to show identification as a precaution. If you leave your vehicle for any reason, leave a note in the car stating where you’re going, who you’re with, and when you hope to return to your vehicle.

Stopping by Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail for your seasonal auto wax? Check out the “just in case” gear in our auto accessory shop. Stay safe, Woodstock!

Car Breakdown Image from Flickr

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