Following some expert tips and keeping a few tools on hand can help steer drivers toward safer rides. Here’s some advice from the experts:

Avoid Breakdowns

Breaking down isn’t just inconvenient and expensive-it can also put drivers in danger. If your car is having problems and you need to pull off the road, try to do so in a well-lit area and pull as far over on the shoulder as possible. Put emergency flares or reflectors on the road behind your car to help other drivers see you.

Of course, one of the best ways to avoid breaking down is to keep your vehicle well maintained. Check your car’s oil, tires and belts regularly and bring it in for regular tune-ups.

Preventing Theft

A vehicle is stolen every 25 seconds in the U.S. To avoid falling victim to theft, always lock your vehicle, no matter where you are, and avoid parking in isolated areas where there are few passersby.

You may also want to consider anti-theft tools such as The Club Automotive Security Series. The line includes steering-wheel locks, cable and spare-tire locks, padlocks and specialty locks. The cable and spare-tire locks can be used to protect tires mounted on the back of trucks, luggage or other items. They run from four to six feet long. The Weatherproof Automotive Padlock can be used on gates, sheds and to secure garages, and the steering-wheel locks render vehicles unusable when attached.

Be Prepared

Plan out long trips ahead of time and always let someone know where you plan to travel and how long you expect the trip to take. Also, pack a survival kit in your car. It should include flares, jumper cables, a quart of oil, radiator fluid, a first-aid kit, bottled water, a blanket and a road atlas. It’s smart to carry a cell phone on the road as well.

In addition, it’s a good idea to check out your auto insurance policy. If it doesn’t include roadside assistance, you may want to consider upgrading.

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