Make Roadside Emergencies Less Urgent With A Few Preparations

Posted on: 1 August 2017

Do you have a long drive ahead of you? Vacations, working as a field technician, or just enjoying the road for extended periods of time comes with a bit of risk that can be hidden under the convenience of (mostly) decent roads and modern vehicles. Unfortunately, there are some road emergencies that even a skilled mechanic can't handle when too far from home. Here are a few preparation pointers to stay safe, closer to comfortable, and available for reasonable rescue during distant road trips.

Keep Emergency Communications Ready

Smartphones are a strange change in communications and emergency readiness. Previous cellular phones were an amazing benefit because stranded drivers could call for help without having to walk to a stranger's home or track down a pay phone, but smartphones provide the same benefit with a much shorter battery life.

This is because the term smartphone is misleading, whether iPhone and Android phone owners know it or not. They're handheld, miniaturized computers similar to desktop and laptop computers, and they consume a lot of power to simply exist with their intended functions compared to the old flip phone or brick phone models before the mid-2000's.

There aren't many flip phones on the market, and it often costs additional money to open a new service line. That's not practical for emergency purposes, but backup battery charger packs can help.

Backup battery chargers--also known as mobile chargers or power banks--are handheld devices that hold multiple batteries inside a digital enclosure. This enclosure can hold multiple full charges for your phone, but don't use it for fun. On a long drive, use your vehicle's charger and only use the power bank when your vehicle isn't working or needs to be turned off for safety reasons.

Contacting Towing And Other Roadside Support

A trade-off of the smartphone's poor battery power is its ability to give researched information instead of just making calls. Before leaving on your trip, be sure to download an offline map of your route and look at a few stops on the way.

It's hard to predict where your vehicle may fail. For this reason, it's a good idea to have a general idea of where you may be at any given point of a trip. If you're within cell tower reception, you can use your device's global positioning to find your location and give your nearest address to an auto towing company, such as Michael's Towing & Recovery. If you're in an area without service, you have to rely on guesswork.

Map services such as Opensignal can show signal blind spots, which you can use to roughly gauge where you are and how to get to a place with signal. Try to look up towing and mechanic services near those outage areas just in case you break down in those unlucky spots.

No matter where you are in the country, your preferred towing service may have drivers or close business alliances nearby. Be sure to contact them before your trip to discuss the route, known issues, and what to do if you're stranded in one of the harder-to-reach areas.