Car problems can happen at the worst times and in the most unexpected places. In 2015, the American Automobile Association (AAA) revealed that it helped over 30 million drivers whose vehicles broke down for various reasons and in generally isolated areas.
Owning a car is undoubtedly convenient, but when your automobile suddenly comes to a stop while you’re driving in the middle of nowhere, you may have limited options. In this case, getting the needed towing service could be the best decision you can make.
What is Towing?
Towing refers to the removal of a disabled vehicle from either a public or a privately-owned road. This is done by getting the vehicle lifted or pulled before being taken to a secured area or facility.
A tow truck is normally used when transporting cars or other vehicles that cannot be moved under their own power. The truck is attached either at the back or at the front side of the subject vehicle before the latter is pulled and taken to its destination
When is Towing Needed?
A towing service is needed if your car stopped running and you’re stuck in the middle of a road. This is the primary reason your automobile has to be towed, but there are several others.
If you just bought your car, for example, you might also have to get it towed. Since it’s newly-purchased, it’s illegal to drive the vehicle around until you have it duly registered and insured.
Things To Do While Waiting for Towing Services
After calling for roadside assistance, the next thing to do is wait for help to arrive. While doing so, it’s important that you do the following:
1. Park the car.
Surprisingly, many people just step out of their cars when this comes to a sudden stop in the middle of the road. This can cause traffic disruption, so to prevent this, you should pull your car off the road and preferably towards a break lane.
2. Go on hazard.
Hazard lights alert other drivers to your vehicle’s presence. The signals tell them to be careful when they pass by you, especially while you are moving the car towards the roadside.
Hazard lights are symbolized by a triangular icon located at the center console. Turning these on is a basic safety measure that you should take while stranded on the road. They are also the signs that the tow driver will look for when searching for you.
3. Prepare your documents.
Before the towing company arrives, you should prepare your driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance policy, and other related documents. It’s also a good idea to take out your purse, wallet, phone, keys, valuables, and other personal items that you don’t wish to leave inside the car. Towing companies generally do not take responsibility for personal items that may get lost from your vehicle while making the transport.
4. Stay calm.
Having a broken car on the side of a road can cause you to feel angry, anxious, and nervous, but it’s important that you remain calm and relaxed. Turn on your car radio or play a game on your smartphone to free your mind. At the same time, keep your phone line open as the towing company could call you to get directions on how to get to your location.
5. Refuse help offers.
For your safety, don’t accept any assistance, including a free ride, from anyone you don’t know. It is common for strangers to offer assistance to those who have been in an accident. However, it would be in your best interest to decline the offer politely. Just tell them that you have already asked for help and that this should arrive shortly.
6. Call the tow company.
If you’ve already called the towing company, but you’re all alone in a remote area, you may want to call them again. Tell them that you don’t feel safe. Often, a professional towing operator will call the police and request that an officer be dispatched.
It’s also a good idea to call your insurance company and tell them about your predicament. Give the full details of what happened, including the name and contact information of your towing company. This can be helpful when you file an insurance claim later.
7. Establish safety markers.
Before calling for any towing service, set up your safety equipment around your car. If you need to get out of the vehicle to do this, exit carefully from the passenger side. As of 2016, approximately 40 towing fatalities are recorded every year because drivers tried to get out from the road side end of their cars.
The standard safety equipment that you should have includes flares, safety cones, and reflective triangles. Place these carefully at the front and back end of your car at a distance of about a hundred steps.This will alert other drivers about an accident up ahead, and that they should take the needed precautions. This is especially crucial if you are stuck on a busy highway.
8. Stay inside.
Do not get out of your car if you get involved in any type of accident. It is dangerous to wait for assistance out on a major road. If an inconsiderate driver moves too far to the right, you could quickly end up in an emergency.
Other practical safety tips include keeping the car doors locked from the inside. Do not unlock them if another driver stops by to try assisting you. If you have to talk to the motorist, just lower the car window a bit and inform him/her that a towing company will be arriving soon.
While you need to be serious and observant of your surroundings while waiting for towing assistance to arrive, you should also try to keep your worries away. Ending up with a bad car on the side of the road can be an opportunity to appreciate the small things in life like solitude, the free air, and the idea of getting away from it all, even for just a moment.
Once you get back to your daily life, the towing experience is something that you’ll likely disregard in time. Ideally, however, it should help you realize that you need to care for your car and observe safety procedures when driving. This is important if you don’t want your auto to let you down again, which can mean calling your towing company a second time to seek assistance.
Get excellent and round-the-clock car towing from Northwest Collision Center.
If your car broke down and left you stranded in a deserted place, worry not. Northwest Collision Center has 24-hour professional towing that you can rely on.
We don’t just limit our service to the towing process. Our St. Petersburg auto body repair team will also coordinate with your insurance company to facilitate any claim that you want to file. This is apart from examining your vehicle as part of our repair and maintenance offering. Call us today as we are ready to serve you.