Most drivers naively think that nothing will ever go wrong. They believe that they’ll happily drive around without incident. That their car will never breakdown, they’ll never be involved in an accident, and nothing terrible will ever happen.
Unfortunately, very few drivers manage to have an entirely incident-free driving career. Even the perfect driver, who is careful and responsible and never, ever at fault, can find themselves the victim of someone else’s mistake, or the wear and tear of their car. Most of us are involved in at least a minor accident at some point, and even more of us face other vehicle issues that we’ve got no control over or way of stopping.
But, because we’re naive and we don’t like to think that anything bad will happen, we’re thoroughly unprepared when it does. We panic, we make poor choices, we don’t know what we should do, and we end up getting ourselves into trouble, wasting time or making the situation worse. So, in the interest of protecting ourselves, our cars and other road users, here’s a look at some common roadside emergencies, as well as what to do if they happen.
Getting Locked Out
Getting locked out of your car is much easier than you might imagine, depending on the make and age of your vehicle. People lock their keys inside. They accidentally lock pets or even children in, they get locked out outside of their homes, or far away from home with nowhere to go. It’s much more common than you might think and it can be scary. There are plenty of things that you can try, but a good auto locksmith can sort it in seconds.
A Flat Tire
Flat tires are also common. If you’ve got a slow leak, you could drive to a garage or gas station for a quick top up which will get you home, or to a repair shop. If it’s a bigger problem, you need to know how to change or repair a tire. The first thing that you need to do is make sure your spare is in excellent condition. Bear in mind many new cars don’t have a spare, just a repair kit. Make sure you know how to use whatever you’ve got, or there’s little point in having it.
Stuck in the Mud
Cars can easily get stuck in the mud or snow in bad weather. If it suddenly rains a lot, what was safe grass can quickly become a muddy bog that you can’t get out of. The trick here is getting your car to rock. Gently apply the accelerator, until your spinning wheels rock forward. Stop, rock back and then quickly do it again. Keep going until you get enough momentum to move. If this doesn’t help, you might need a push or even towing.
Batteries only work at their best for about five years. After this, they start to lose power. Just like a set of rechargeable AA’s will eventually start to hold less charge. So, it’s not just leaving your lights on that runs a battery down, it might get there on its own. Jump leads and another car can help, but you might need to ring for assistance.