With the ubiquity of cell phones and the prevalence of 24/7 roadside assistance services, it's easy to feel as though being stranded is no big deal. After all, help is just a call away, so is it really necessary to prepare for the worst? Unfortunately, the answer is still a resounding yes. While having access to roadside assistance is vital, it is also important to have a properly stocked emergency kit and to know what to do in the event that your car leaves you stranded. If you still aren't convinced, consider these three reasons why preparing for the worst is still the right move.
Cell Coverage Still Isn't 100%
It can feel like you are never really disconnected from the modern world, but there are still many areas where cell phone coverage is incomplete and simply doesn't exist at all. Even in the more populous regions of the country, there are still pockets where you may not have service. A great example is the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire. This beautiful road winds through more than 50 miles of mountainous terrain and is incredibly popular with tourists, but there is absolutely no cell phone coverage along with the majority of it. Even more remote roads than this exist as you travel west across the country, and it is not always possible to rely on your cell phone if you find yourself stranded on one.
Assistance Might Not Be Available in Inclement Weather
Even if you are traveling in a heavily populated area, assistance might not be available in serious weather conditions. While this will obviously apply in major emergencies such as hurricanes, tow trucks, and emergency vehicles might also have difficulty reaching you in serious snow storms. In these cases, it may be several hours or even longer before help can arrive, especially if there isn't a pressing medical emergency.
You May Want to Avoid an Emergency
Although it can seem counterintuitive, roadside emergency kits can actually help you to avoid having an emergency in the first place. If your car is well stock with everything that you need to get by for at least a few hours (or longer) in inclement conditions, then it is that much easier to make the decision to pull off to the side of the road and wait for the situation to improve. This can be especially true if you find yourself a decent distance from home in a bad snow storm, for example. It may be several hours or longer before the roads are cleared, but with a well stock emergency kit, you can pull over to the side of the road and know that you can wait as long as necessary.
Building Your Kit
Now that you know why it is important that you keep a kit in your car, you will be better able to select which items to store in it. While it is possible to build some fairly large and in-depth kits, the most important thing is that you cover the basics. This means that your kit should include a first aid kit, a blanket, flashlights, emergency flares, jumper cables, a pocket knife, and a few basic tools (a couple of screwdrivers are fine—you aren't planning on doing any major repairs on the side of the road!). If you want to go a step further, include basic toiletries, a backup phone charger, and a folding shovel.
While it's rare to be stranded somewhere especially dangerous, having a decent kit in your car and a subscription to a roadside assistance service will guarantee that you'll get through any roadside emergency just fine. To learn more about roadside assistance, contact companies like Parkway Wrecker Service.