Driver emergency!

Andy Ouriel and Andy Ouriel

A driver should know safety is one of the most important aspects of driving, but many cars lack the essential items necessary in case of an emergency.

Some drivers may think being safe is only abiding by the traffic laws and staying defensive on the road, but being prepared when something goes wrong is just as important.

In a technologically advanced world, drivers think they can rely on their cell phones instead of basic knowledge about automobiles, to answer their problems.

Many of the drivers who lack knowledge about automobiles are young students who are too dependent on technology.

Freshman Amanda Wilkins is one drivers who relies on her phone and not much else in emergency situations.

“I don’t have much else,” Wilkins said. “A cell phone can call anybody and [you can be] rescued.”

Drivers are also dependent on computer assisted communication systems installed in their cars to help.

OnStar, the leading provider of telematic services in the U.S., is a system installed in all General Motors cars to help a driver with roadside assistance. Some of the services OnStar provides are accident assistance, stolen vehicle location and driving directions.

OnStar does not provide the actual items for an emergency like jumper cables, road flares, blankets and bottled water.

Landline adviser for OnStar MJ Bulaong said inspecting and carrying items is very important to all drivers for any length of trip. Some things to include and check on a car are spare tires, proper tire inflation, correct fluid levels and the car’s battery.

Even though many drivers have an instruction manual in their car to tell them what items they need in case of an emergency, many if not all of those items are often absent from the vehicle.

Store manager of the Midas in Bowling Green John Kaczynski knows how essential it is to have emergency-related items in a car, especially when traveling with others in unfamiliar areas.

“It is very important to have those [emergency] items in your car, especially with family or children and traveling in other cities,” Kaczynski said.

Kaczynski also said when drivers do have an emergency kit, it is because the factory who produced the automobile provided it.

While OnStar provides diagnostic reports for their automobiles, vehicles without the luxury should be checked about four times a year for things like oil changes and tire rotations to happen.

A possible solution to help younger drivers be more familiar with their automobile and be more self-sufficient would be to have the University offer classes to help with frequently asked questions and show how to perform basic quick fixes to a car like changing the oil or putting on a spare tire.

“It would definitely be helpful if [the University] had classes,” Wilkins said. “Classes that give starter kits to put in the back of your car would be good, too.”