One of the most common reasons drivers are faced with needing roadside assistance is a dead battery. While you can get a jump start from your local roadside service club, it's less stressful and more efficient to minimize the risk of needing it in the first place. Here's a look at a few tips to help reduce your chances of facing a dead battery and needing an emergency jump start.

Don't Leave The Accessories On

From the lights to the radio, car accessories draw power from the battery. If you leave them on when the car isn't running, it can discharge the battery pretty quickly. Make sure that you turn your lights off when you park, and don't leave the key in the ignition with the accessories turned on. Draining the battery is bad enough, but the draining and recharging cycle that it leads to will actually shorten the lifespan of your car's battery.

Don't Let It Sit

Your car's battery is designed to charge whenever the car is running. When the battery isn't charged through this type of use, it can lead to battery circuit leaks that actually discharge the system. If you're not going to be driving the car for a few weeks, make sure that you have someone run the engine for 25 minutes or so at least once each week. If you can't do this, disconnect the battery to prevent the discharge process.

Also, since the battery charges when the car is running, consider the length of the trips that you take when you do use it. If you repeatedly drive for short periods, the battery won't get enough time to charge properly. This can lead to premature failure. Make sure you plan for a few trips that are longer, such as half-hour drives, to ensure that the battery is recharging properly.

Keep It Warm

If you live in an area where the winters are very cold, make sure you park your car in a garage where it's warm. The severe cold will drain your battery and even shorten its general lifespan. Consider even adding an engine heater if the temperatures are consistently below zero so that you minimize this risk.

If you do find yourself with a dead battery despite your efforts, call a local roadside assistance company, such as Parkway Wrecker Service, to come out and jump start it for you. Then, let it run for several minutes to allow the system to start charging before you try to drive. If your battery dies repeatedly, it's time to replace it.