Going on a road trip with your family is one of the most exciting things to do in your life. The time spent on a road trip with your loved ones is always remembered and cherished.
But, at the same time, going on a road trip with your family can cause a range of challenges. You need to be extra careful while driving, planning itineraries, and even when choosing hotels.
If you are planning a road trip with your family, you should know what steps to follow if your car breaks down in the middle of the trip. Here, we will have a look at some of the common safety steps you should take if your car breaks down.
Steps To Follow When Car Breaks Down During a Family Road Trip
Don’t Lose Your Calm and Move to a Safer Place
It is very important to remain calm and move somewhere safer when your vehicle fails on a family trip. However, the first few minutes after you notice something is wrong can be quite frustrating; taking a deep breath and thinking clearly will not do anyone much good in such situations.
Panic can distort reasoning and dampen your capacity to make sensible choices. Breathe and reorient yourself so that the breakdowns are still manageable. Your composed behavior will also make your loved ones more comfortable, especially the children who may worry about emergencies.
Clear thought means that you are able to detect the obvious problems with the car, communicate effectively, and make decisions focusing on safety.
Moving your vehicle to a safe place, such as the shoulder of the road or a rest stop, is essential in eliminating dangers in traffic. The danger of a stalled car on the road is not only for your family but also for the other drivers. Finding a safe spot on the side of the road reduces the risk of an accident.
Try to Diagnose The Problem
Evaluating the problem that caused your car to break down on a family road trip is one of the essential steps enabling you to understand yourself better, which may serve as useful information while contacting roadside assistance or professional mechanics.
Take some time to look at your car. Search for clearly visible signs of trouble, like smoke coming from the engine, flat tires, or overflowing fluids. If you can point out a particular problem, it is much easier to communicate an accurate depiction of that issue.
Listen for any abnormal sounds coming from your car. The peculiarity of these sounds can reveal some specific information about the nature of the problem. This information can be very useful in the conversation with mechanics or tow truck operators.
Contact Emergency Assistance
Roadside assistance is a very important link if your car breaks down during a family trip on the road. Swift and efficient communication, supported by the assistance provider, promotes the timely arrival of help.
When waiting for help, safety must be the main priority. Tell all the passengers, especially the children, to stay inside the car.
This helps reduce the risks of accidents, even more so if you are driving on a heavily used road. If it is safe to do so, please step out from the vehicle on a side where there are no other vehicles.
Share your current location with the assistance provider in a clear manner. If you are unsure of your exact location, try to provide some landmarks, road signs, or maybe GPS coordinates so that they can locate you more precisely. The specific details help to hasten the response rate.
Be Hydrated and Maintain Patience
Two major points of coping with a car breakdown on the road trip are patience and hydration. In the midst of all that stress and uncertainty during a breakdown, one must focus on physical and mental well-being above everything else.
However, breakdowns usually occur at the most inconvenient times and may leave you in unwanted weather conditions. Whether it’s hot or cold, you need to ensure that your body remains hydrated all the time. Poor hydration is likely to worsen the stress and make the situation much more difficult.
Notice how your body feels. If you start feeling faint, dizzy or suffer from headaches, it could be because of dehydration. Periodic intake of water can reduce such signs and symptoms.
Things To Check Before Going on a Road With Family
Check Your Car Condition
Family road trips should only start when your vehicle is in the best condition to ensure a stress-free trip.
If an oil change is due or nearing the recommended mileage, schedule it. Fresh oil allows the engine to perform well and minimizes the risk of any failures. Make sure to inspect the oil level more often in between the trips and refill as needed.
Before hitting the road, you should get your car checked by a reputable auto repair shop in Houston to ensure there are no problems during the trip.
Have an Emergency Kit in Your Car.
Building a fully stocked emergency kit is an important step toward making your family’s road trip safer.
It is very necessary to have a universal first aid kit. It should have some bandages, sterile gauze, and adhesive tape along with antiseptic wipes and tweezers, as well as scissors accompanied by painkillers and prescription drugs.
Have a very strong flashlight with backup batteries. Choose an LED flashlight because this type tends to be much more energy-efficient and thus offers a brighter light. This is important for checking your car at night or during emergencies.
The jumper cables could be a life savior if your car battery dies. Ensure that they are in good shape and also long enough.