Make sure you’re really road trip ready, and puke free.
Everyone is packed, the itinerary is set and you’ve had your car checked over by your trusty local mechanic. (No? Check out our tips for getting the car road trip ready here.) Now, just one more thing – are you prepared for an emergency? From ‘Mom, Charlie is barfing!” to a flat tire, road trip emergencies can hijack all the fun. We asked Audra Fordin, owner of Great Bear Auto Repair in Queens, NY, and founder of Women Auto Know, for tips to ensure you’re prepared if an emergency strikes.
1. Bring an emergency kit
Audra suggests packing the following in case an emergency arises:
- extra fuses
- jumper cables
- energy bars
- plastic trash bags or grocery bags
- flashlight and batteries
- cell phone and charger
- matches/ lighter
- pencil & paper
- games in the car for kids
- auto insurance, registration and repair shop information
2. Map out the trip
Plan bathroom stops in major cities and if there are long stretches between populated areas, plan refueling stops. Refuel when the tank is half full so that those long spans between service areas, closed stations or traffic snarls don’t bring on low-fuel anxiety.
3. Keep a spare key in your purse
Whether you accidentally lock your keys in the car, or drop a key down a sewer grate, this could be ‘key’ to preventing disaster on any length car trip.
4. Prevent overheating; be safe if the car does overheat
If the car overheats and you can’t pull over safely, put the heater on high to take some of the heat out of the engine compartment. This will buy some time until you can pull over safely.
Air conditioning puts added stress on the engine, thus using more fuel. If you want to save on fuel, shut off the air conditioning, open the windows and enjoy the fresh air.
5. Emergency stops – what to do
Never get out of the car on a highway. If you have an emergency, pull over, put your hazard lights on (the flashers) and call for help.
6. Phone prep
Load your phone with these apps that can help in almost any emergency.