Preparing for the worst-case scenario is not, as some people might assume, an admission of pessimism. It’s really just a smart way to approach things – when you are confident that you have all the potential negative angles covered, it allows you to appreciate the positive.
And when you are going to be on the road for longish periods of time, it really is a good idea to make sure you’re ready for the worst-case scenarios. The great thing about having a car is that it allows you to travel long distances and see new places. The bad thing about having a car is that, if things go wrong, you may well be somewhere unfamiliar and miles from home when it happens.
Fortunately, with some prior planning, it is possible to be ready for a troubling scenario developing – and to take control of the situation, making unpleasant situations much less threatening.
Make sure your phone is charged, and be ready for a twist
Having 100% phone battery is a comforting situation to be in – that should be enough for a long day. However, for one reason or another, it may not be. So, while you should always make sure your phone is fully charged, you should also have the means to charge it while you’re en route. A power bank with a full charge should be good for another 100%, while many modern cars have a few USB sockets which allow you to charge a phone from the car’s power supply. And just in case all of that isn’t enough, carrying a spare phone (which is only to be switched on in emergencies) is a very good idea.
Have a First Aid kit and know what you’re doing with it
If you’re stranded away from home with a broken-down car, there’s at least a chance that it’s a result of an accident, which means a first-aid kit is essential. Bandages, plasters, over-the-counter painkillers, and any regular medication you usually take should all be in there. You should also be aware of techniques for identifying a bone break, wrapping a support bandage, and dealing with shock, all of which you can do while waiting for emergency roadside assistance. If you’re driving with passengers, check with everyone to see that they’re OK, and be aware of signs of concussion.
Know how to get out
If you’ve been in an accident in your car, it’s wise to get out of the vehicle – and to only return to it if it’s clearly safe to do so. Knowing where all the locking switches are, and how to trigger them when the car is stopped, will be important. You may also need to open doors for your passengers; any emergency overrides for things like child safety locks should be memorized in order to be used in a situation such as this. Ideally, in case of an accident, you should get your car off the road and clear of any potential oncoming traffic – but if this has not been possible, turn on the hazard lights and position all occupants on the non-road side of the car so they’re protected from other vehicles.