Roadside emergencies create high-stress situations. Being stranded with an inoperable vehicle is never ideal, especially when you are in a hurry to get to your destination. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and anxious in the middle of trying to manage unforeseen circumstances, but following a few simple guidelines can keep you safe and improve the outcome of your roadside emergency.
How To Handle Roadside Emergencies
An unexpected breakdown can quickly turn into a dangerous setting for you and other passengers, so it is important to follow certain protocols when waiting for car tow services to arrive.
#1 – Pull Over if Possible
Roadside emergencies include all sorts of scenarios. Your car engine might start to smoke. You may blow a tire. Your car battery could die or your transmission fluid could overheat.
Whatever the cause of your car troubles, pull over if possible. If you can safely get your vehicle out of the flow of traffic, do so. Your safest option is to remove you and your vehicle from blocking any oncoming traffic.
#2 – Turn on Your Hazard Lights
Whether your car is on the side shoulder of the road or stuck within the lane, make sure your hazard lights remain on. Hazard lights signal to other drivers that your vehicle is disabled and immobilized.
Even if your roadside emergency occurs during the daytime, turn on those hazard lights. You need to alert drivers (particularly distracted drivers) that your car is not operating at normal speeds or not moving at all.
#3 – Determine Whether or Not to Exit the Vehicle
You need to make this judgment call based on your specific situation; there’s no single right answer for every stuck car. You should ask yourself whether you are better off remaining inside your vehicle with your seatbelt on or getting out of your vehicle.
For example, if your car is stalled in the center lane of a busy highway and you cannot get to the shoulder of the road, exiting your vehicle is probably not the safest choice.
#4 – Do Not Leave the Scene
If you’re under stress, waiting for help to arrive can feel like an eternity. Although it may be difficult to stick around, stay with your vehicle until the tow truck arrives.
#5 – Gather Your Personal Belongings
While you are waiting for a tow truck, use that time to collect any personal items from within your vehicle that you do not want towed away. Once the tow truck professional shows up, they will want to get to work. Gather the belongings that you wish to keep with you before the tow truck arrives.
#6 – Save Your Phone Battery
Spending time on your phone to pass the time may be tempting when waiting for a tow, but a dead phone battery will only complicate your circumstances. Make the necessary calls required to get help coming your way and then save that battery.
Also, keep your phone near you with the volume turned up. The tow truck driver may need to contact you to verify your location.
#7 – Trust the Professionals
Towing a car or truck requires a certain skill set. In fact, you can seriously harm yourself and damage your vehicle if you attempt to load up and tow a vehicle incorrectly.
When it comes to towing, it is best to leave the work to the professionals. A trustworthy company with WreckMaster-certified technicians will know exactly how to care for your car.
#8 – Keep Your Car in Park When the Towing Company Shows Up
Oftentimes, vehicle owners assume that the tow truck operator wants the vehicle in neutral when they arrive to perform the tow.
But actually, there is no need to leave your car in the neutral position. Even if you have the emergency brake on, do not leave your car in neutral.
Instead, you should always keep your vehicle in park. Let the tow truck operator switch it to neutral at the appropriate time (usually once the straps/chains and other equipment are attached to the vehicle). This will ensure that your vehicle will not roll away and become damaged or cause any damage to surrounding vehicles or property.
# 9 – Stay Safe and Keep Calm
No doubt, roadside emergencies can leave you frazzled, but try not to panic. A good 24-hour towing company should be able to get you to safety quickly and get your car on its way to becoming driveable again.