Are you planning a trip across the country this summer? Have you decided that instead of flying, you'll drive so that you can see more of the sights? A cross-country road trip can be an exciting and educational way to see the country. But while nobody wants their vehicle to break down on a trip like this, it's a good idea to plan for this eventuality. Before you do anything else, here are some things you'll need to do or have for emergencies:
List of tow truck service companies: When you plan out your route, make a list of tow truck service companies that will serve the areas that you'll be driving through. Organize this list by the cities that you'll be driving through or near. For example, if you're planning on driving through Dallas, Texas and then Denver, Colorado on your way to Yellowstone, research tow truck service companies along that route. If your vehicle breaks down, you don't want to waste valuable cell phone battery power on trying to find a tow service that is both willing to come get you and that will accept whatever payment method you happen to have. Having a list of tow services in your glove compartment ahead of time will save you a lot of time and frustration if something goes wrong with your vehicle.
Several days of non-perishable food and water: Even if you don't plan on being more than a few hours from the nearest town or rest stop, it's a good idea to bring extra food and water. If you decide on a whim to take a detour, your field trip could take you a long way from what you might consider to be civilization. If your vehicle breaks down for some reason, it's best to stay in your vehicle until help arrives. Without sufficient food and water, this wait could become extremely uncomfortable. Even if you are able to make a call on your cell phone, it could be several hours before a tow truck service is able to come out your way. If you're some distance from the next town, it could be several more hours before you and your vehicle are left at the nearest mechanic. Depending on when the breakdown occurs, there may be no stores or restaurants open. To be safe, consider carrying several gallons of water and snacks for everyone in your vehicle.
Make an auto emergency kit: Does your vehicle often run hot? Make sure to pack extra water or radiator fluid in case it overheats. While a major tire blowout will require you to call a tow truck service to get your tire replaced, a can of tire sealant may be able to get you back on the road for relatively minor punctures. In order to avoid being hit from behind if you have a major breakdown, make sure that you have road flares and reflective emergency markers. If it's safe to do so, set these out on the road while you're waiting for the local tow truck service (such as Car And Truck Services Inc.) to pick you up.