Warning lights flash all over your dashboard. The engine sputters. Gears grind. Then…nothing. You’re stranded at the side of the road and, of course, it’s the middle of the night.
If you’re a parent, it’s your worst nightmare. If you’re the driver of the disabled vehicle, you probably can’t stop thinking, “If only I had…”
Actually, there are several things you can do to minimize the risk of ending up on the shoulder of a lonely—or too busy—road at the worst possible time. Just like you would never drive without car insurance, planning for emergencies while driving is part of the experience.
Consider these five ways to optimize your safety or that of loved ones.
1. Do You Play Chicken with Your Gas Tank?
“I wonder how far I can drive with the gas light on.”
You wouldn’t be the first to have that thought. Typically, you can go about 30 to 50 miles before a lurching stop. Nevertheless, there’s a lot of wiggle room in that statement: typically and about are words that suggest a pretty wide distance range.
If the distance estimation sounds more like a way of saying, “Get right to the first available gas station,” that’s good advice.
You might have to drive a scary distance before seeing a service station sign if you’re driving on a desolate Georgia highway. If you live in an urban area, the risk can actually be just as high. In a city, it seems like there’s a gas station on every street corner, and you become complacent. You don’t have to stop at the next set of pumps because you can take the one after…or the one after that. The miles fly by faster than you think.
When that light comes on, take it seriously. Stop for a fill-up. Better yet, don’t let it even light. Gas is incredibly expensive today, which might explain why you trust that warning longer than you should, but it can get even costlier running on empty in the middle of nowhere.
2. Do You Have Good Tires Under You?
Yes, a set of four tires will set you back in terms of money, no question, but so will a 20-mile tow to the next town—a town you are now praying has an open tire store that’s running a sale.
You need at least 2/32 inches of tread to safely drive on your tires. Take the penny test to make sure your tread is good. Insert the American coin upside down in your tread, with President Lincoln’s face exposed. If the tread doesn’t cover at least part of Lincoln’s hair, you don’t have enough rubber, and it’s time to go shopping.
Even when you have good tires, keep them inflated to your owner’s manual specifications. Always respect your car’s under-inflation warning light.
3. Is It Time to Give Up on Your Battery?
A car battery typically lasts about three to five years. But there are those indefinite words again: typically and about.
Often the first warning that your battery is dying is a dead car. You need a jump. Your big mistake isn’t in needing that first charge. It’s in continuing to get jumps whenever you need one and assuming you’ll always be able to find friendly strangers in Georgia who’ll let you use their batteries for the purpose.
Take your car to a service garage the first time your battery fails you. The situation isn’t going to improve.
4. Do You Turn Up Your Radio When You Hear Weird Sounds?
We’ve all been there. Your engine makes a noise you’re not used to hearing. Maybe it’s your brakes. Maybe it’s…some other car problem.
The temptation to stress out at how much the repair will be—and then drown out that sure-to-be-expensive noise with music or a loud conversation with your passengers—is strong.
Don’t go there. Take your car to be serviced and describe the sound. You won’t like the bill, but the problem will only get worse and more expensive the longer it’s ignored.
5. Do You Have Roadside Assistance Included in Your Car Insurance?
You could do everything right and still end up stranded on a lonely Georgia road in the middle of the night. That’s just life. It’s why you need comprehensive car insurance you can trust—and roadside assistance as a leading feature.
When your policy includes roadside assistance, all you do is pick up the phone when stranded. Call a toll-free number 24/7. You’ll get help in the form of a couple of gallons of gas, a battery charge, a tire change, or a tow to the nearest service garage.
Whatever service you need, you’ll get it round-the-clock, on weekends and holidays. The addition of roadside assistance benefits can be a worthwhile investment in your peace of mind or the safety of loved ones.
Get an Affordable Car Insurance Quote in Georgia Today
At Velox Insurance, we can help you find low cost auto insurance and you can include roadside packages to protect you and your family. Call us at 1-(855)-GO-VELOX or contact us online. You can also find an office location near you to discuss your insurance needs with a trusted independent insurance agent.