Thanks to cell phones, breaking down on the side of the road isn't necessarily as frustrating or scary as it used to be. In years past you would have to sit there, hoping a law enforcement vehicle or tow truck would happen to come upon you. If another traveler chose to stop and help, it wasn't always immediately clear whether they were a Good Samaritan or potentially your worst nightmare.
Unfortunately, the technology isn't always reliable. Cell phone service can be sporadic at best in remote areas, and sometimes it can be downright nonexistent. Even if you are fortunate enough to have service and you can contact a towing company, you may still have a bit of a wait -- especially if the weather is bad and they are busy with other calls or located some distance away. Here are four tips to keep you safe while you wait for your towing service:
Pull Off As Far As You Can
If you know something is wrong with your car, immediately put on your hazard lights, slow down, and carefully pull over. Get off of the road and as far onto the shoulder as possible. Avoid stopping on a bridge or off-ramp, even if it means you will need to drive another half-mile on a flat tire.
Keep A Roadside Emergency Care Kit In The Trunk
Every vehicle you own should be prepared for an emergency. The kit should include basic fluids, such as oil and radiator fluid, a can of Fix-a-Flat, a tire iron and jack, a spare tire, emergency flares, a flashlight or lantern, extra batteries, triangle reflectors, a safety vest, a tool box with basic hand tools, sockets and wrenches, jumper cables, and a white flour sack towel. You will also want to keep a first aid kit, blankets, drinking water, and high-protein snacks such as granola bars or nuts.
Stay Put In Your Vehicle
While you may be tempted to get out of your vehicle and stretch your legs, your safest bet is staying right where you are with your seatbelt and your hazard lights on and your doors locked. Unfortunately, inattentive drivers slam into back of stalled vehicles all the time.
Get Out With Extreme Caution
If your hazards aren't working or you have an idea of what the problem might be and are pulled over in an area where you feel safe getting out of the vehicle, exit it from the passenger side only. Before doing anything else, immediately put on your safety vest and then set out your triangle reflectors, even if it is daylight.
If your phone is in a dead zone and you haven't been able to reach a towing service, grab your white flour sack towel and secure it in your window or tie to your antenna so it can flap in the wind. This is a sign to others that you need help. Once you have done what you can, get back in your vehicle, put your seatbelt back on, and simply wait; hopefully the police or a tow truck will be along shortly. If another vehicle stops to help, roll your window down slightly and ask them to simply call the police for you. Do not get out of your vehicle.Share
7 August 2018
The first time I had to have a vehicle towed, I was confused by why they asked me if the car was two or four-wheel drive. When the tow truck driver showed up, I asked him. He explained the difference in how the two types of vehicles were towed, then started telling me about some of the general best practices for safe towing. That's when I started to research the fundamentals and the tips for successful towing. I built this blog as an opportunity to chronicle everything that I learned, hoping that it will help others understand what type of tow truck they'll need for their vehicle.