There were 32,675 fatalities due to traffic accidents in 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). What’s more is that most of these accidents could be prevented if drivers took the proper precautions and gave driving the attention it deserves. In fact, the NHTSA estimates that (NHTSA) 93 percent of all traffic accidents are preventable because they are caused by driver error. While operating a vehicle necessitates patience, careful attention, and defensive driving, there are precautions to take and skills to learn in order to successfully navigate the perils of other, albeit less fatal, vehicular emergencies and times of stress. These include putting on chains in the snow, fixing a flat tire, and staying calm and as comfortable as possible while stranded on the side of the road.
Flat Tires Call For The Right Tools and Knowledge
If you’ve ever had to fix a flat tire, you know just how stressful it can be. Changing a flat is something most of us only perform once in a long while, which makes it all the more frustrating when a tire change is needed, usually on the side of a busy highway in the rain or the baking sun. Not only will you need your vehicle to be equipped with a spare tire in good condition and adequately inflated, a tire iron, and a car jack, but you will also need to know how to fix a flat. If you have never done so, enlist the help of an experienced family member or friend and practice in a quiet, controlled environment such as your driveway. Having the experience of changing just one flat tire goes a long way and if you ever need to do it on your own – you’ll be glad you took the time to learn how.
A dead battery can easily be remedied with a set of jumper cables and a helpful stranger. Make sure you or the other person knows what they are doing before attempting to jump start your engine. If you frequently travel on roads without any other traffic, or you do not want to be dependant on the help of another, consider purchasing a battery booster, which can get you on the road again without the aid of a good samaritan.
Responding to Injuries, Bad Weather, and Surviving a Long Breakdown
Some breakdowns cannot be fixed on the side of the road and instead require a tow. Depending on your location, a tow truck may take a long time to get to you, and if the weather is freezing, you may find yourself shivering without your car’s heater. Other situations may also call for self-dependence until help arrives, which is why carrying the following items in your car at all times is so important.
- First aid kit;
- Flashlight and/or headlamp;
- Matches and/or lighter;
- Chains for snow;
- Emergency blanket made of wool or synthetic fiber to keep you warm even while damp;
- An extra jacket, pair of gloves, hat, and other warm clothes;
- Multi-tool and knife;
- Food such as energy bars, non perishables, and dry dog food for serious (and rare) life-and death situations where starvation is possible;
- At least two gallons of water;
- Window breaker;
- Seat belt cutter;
- Emergency road flares;
- Reflective triangle; and
- Reflective vest.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced Cincinnati car accident attorney today at the law offices of the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers .