Tips to Stay Safe While Waiting for Emergency Auto Assistance to Arrive

Your teenager will be driving from Ohio to Colorado to join friends on a spring break skiing trip. She is worried about skis, clothes and boyfriends. You are worried about break-downs and roadside emergencies. You know that you have good emergency auto assistance coverage but you are concerned that it is still snowing in the mountains that she is headed for. You want her to stay safe while she is waiting for emergency auto assistance to arrive.

Here’s a list that you can print out to tuck into her roadside emergency kit.

  • Watch weather reports prior to any long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
  • Pack a cellular telephone with the telephone number of your motor club, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
  • If you become snowbound, stay with your vehicle. It provides excellent temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It is easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
  • Don’t overexert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running. For fresh air, open a window slightly on the side away from the wind and be sure snow or frost does not block ventilation.
  • Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or maps.
  • If possible, run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.


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