Have you had a break down, minor accident, flat tire, or dead battery? Unless you’re out in the middle of nowhere waiting for a tow truck is usually just a few minutes. But it takes only seconds for a bad situation to get far worse. And if you are in some remote location it’s especially important to keep yourself safe and secure.
Mistakes to Avoid
Once on the side of the road most people’s attention turns to the inconvenience and delay, along with worries about repair costs. And that often leads to added problems that didn’t have to happen. Here are some of the key mistakes to avoid while waiting for a tow.
- Not alerting other drivers to your stopped vehicle may result in getting hit in an accident, even if your car seems clearly visible.
- Getting out of your vehicle puts you at risk of getting directly hit by traffic. Standing right beside, behind, or in front of your vehicle is especially dangerous in such accidents.
- Flagging down help can expose you to unscrupulous individuals.
- Calling any random towing company without checking them out or going with the lowest “quote” is also a risk.
- Leaving the scene of an accident, even a minor one, often leads to legal problems.
- Forgetting personal items and leaving them in the car is the most common mistake.
What You Should Do
The top priority is turning on your hazard lights, even as you’re trying to coast or drive out of traffic lanes. That’s your primary “defense” when you’re off the road at night, but it helps reduce accidents during the day as well.
Pull as far off the road and away from traffic as possible. If you’re still adjacent to a traffic lane it’s safest to stay inside your vehicle with your seatbelt on. Otherwise exit and move well out of the way. If it’s safe to do so, popping the hood further alerts other drivers that they need to slow down and steer clear of a stoped vehicle.
When Calling for a Tow Truck
When calling a towing service take a quick look at their reviews, ratings, and licensing. Then get the ID of the driver and truck they’ll be sending. Smaller operators sometimes listen in on radio dispatches and rush to the scene. You could end up with a towing company that’s not the one you selected.
When Waiting for a Tow
Again, stay inside if you’re near traffic and if you get out stay far away from the roadway. Alert the towing company or local police if there’s a situation or person that makes you feel unsafe.
While waiting for a tow truck it’s a good time to gather your belongings so you don’t forget anything. Find your registration and insurance paperwork (you’ll need it when the towing operator arrives) and take it with you, along with any valuables and any items you might need over the next few days. Don’t forget prescription glasses and sunglasses!
Although most people are indeed good Samaratins, be extremely cautious with strangers. Roll down your window but don’t open the door. And politely let them know that a tow truck is already on the way.
Did You Know? Free or discount towing services through a motor club usually mean a much longer wait. They negotiate low rates with towing companies, and that makes you a low priority.
When It Arrives
Before exiting your vehicle make sure that the wrecker is indeed from the company that you selected and called. The driver / operator should also show you their their Texas-issued photo ID. If not, ask to see it. Then carefully check their price quote or estimate for any unexpected charges.
Your vehicle is on its way to a mechanic or your home, and you’ve stayed safe and sound.