Craig travels alot.
His vehicle has become a mobile life-preserver, for he has experienced one too many uncomfortable perils that the road has to offer.
Once he found himself stranded in the dark on a country road with coyotes sounding in the distance. His tire was blown out and he was not prudent enough to make sure he had a car-jack that could raise his vehicle up to proper height for a tire change. The mud and the rain didn’t help either. Every time he cranked the car-jack, the other side of the vehicle sunk deeper into the road. Fortunately, Craig was a scholar who had this habit of carrying lots of books everywhere he went. He repurposed those books as blocks to bear the weight of the vehicle and stand the car-jack on. He made the tire change and made the sour occasion a lesson. He carried a proper car-jack from then on.
As mundane as they seem, lessons like these have led Craig to refine his notion of ‘vehicle security’.
“In preparing a vehicle for travel, you don’t need to pay attention just to the obvious.”, he says, “Knowing how to change a tire is important, but what is more important is fine-tuning your sense of awareness about vehicle preparedness in terms of what could go wrong -you know, things out of the ordinary.”
He cites urban riots as reason to map out alternative traffic routes in the event egress from the city is necessary. He also has loaded his vehicle with enough supplies to last him at least 3 days should he be stranded. He has now turned ‘vehicle preparedness’ into a “thing”.
“What about food or water? Do you carry the life essentials in your vehicle?” He says the world is becoming progressively more unstable and unpredictable. In keeping with the times, he has educated himself on ‘vehicle security’ and put his knowledge into practice.
Here are a few of his pointers:
- Prior to any excursion, perform a thorough vehicle inspection. Check your lights, brakes, the tread on the tires. Get underneath the vehicle and look for any loose undercarriage or fluid leaks. Pop the hood and check your fluid levels (don’t forget the blinker fluid 😉 ). Are there any cracks in the hoses or belts? Do you have all the equipment you will need in the event of a flat (car-jack, roadside flares, tire-iron, etc.)? Once again, be THOROUGH. You might consider compiling your own checklist and leaving it in your vehicle.
- Make a habit of keeping your gas-tank at least half full. You may even store fuel with stabilizer in your garage or keep a bit in or on your vehicle. You never know when you will need it. Just be sure to rotate the fuel from time to time.
- Include a medical kit, shovel, water filter, and rations in your vehicle inventory.
- Carry an extra set of clothes and footwear appropriate for the season.
- Practice defensive driving. Don’t allow yourself to be boxed in by cars at a traffic-light when panic ensues. Leave at least 3/4 of a car-length between you and the vehicle in front of you so you can maneuver around if you have to (stay in the right lane when possible).
- Never leave your keys in your car, not even a valet key.
- Wear your seat-belt.
- Refrain from using your phone while driving 😉 .
- Purchase hard-copies of highway maps and stow one in your vehicle.
- Plan primary AND secondary routes.
For the paranoid:
- Park outside of view of surveillance cameras.
- Watch for ‘tails’.
- John says you should wrap up your cell-phone in foil.
- Carry defensive precautions.
- Keep a knife at hand to cut your seat-belt in the event of a serious wreck.
- Avoid crop circles.