In 2016, there were nearly 222 million drivers in the United States.
Imagine yourself out on the open road. You’re driving, cruising, your favorite song on–then suddenly–you hear a pop!
Your tire blew out. Or maybe your car broke down. Whatever the reason, now you’re stuck and wondering what to do next.
Want to know what to do the next time you need roadside assistance? Here are 10 steps to take the next time you have car trouble on the road.
1. Pull Off To a Safe Location
If your car breaks down while driving on the highway, you should try to pull off to the side of the road if possible.
Don’t hit the break suddenly. Turn your signal on, ease off the gas pedal, and try to move to the side of the road.
Turn your wheels to the right. That way, if you’re hit from behind, you won’t drive into moving cars.
2. Stay On the Right Side
It’s safer to park on the right shoulder on the highway. If you can’t drive your car to the right shoulder, you can park on the left shoulder.
If you can’t pull off to the side of the road at all, turn your hazard lights on to let others know that there’s a problem so that they can stay away from your car.
3. Stay Inside the Vehicle
If you’re stuck in the middle of the road, it’s safer to stay inside your car with your seatbelt on until help arrives. Don’t try to get out of your car and push your car to the side of the road.
4. Make Your Car Visible
Make your car visible to other drives. Keep your hazard lights on. Turn on the interior light in your car.
If your car still has battery life, keep it turned on. You can also attach a white piece of paper or cloth to the driver’s side window. This can signal to others that you’re having car problems.
If possible, you can place reflective markers or flares about 6 feet behind your car. This can alert drivers to carefully drive around you when they approach your vehicle.
5. Take Notice of Your Location
Once you’re away from the flow of traffic and moved to safety, see where you’re located. Are there any signs or upcoming exits that you can see from where you are?
Can you remember the last exit you passed by? Or, do you know the town or city you’re located in? Any information can help roadside assistance locate you.
6. Assess Your Car Issue
See if you can tell what your car trouble is. Did you hear any noises or see indicator lights before the car broke down? Or, if it was a flat tire, can you tell which tire needs servicing.
Try not to leave the car if possible. However, if you have to, check for oncoming traffic.
Don’t stand behind or in front of your car if possible. Oncoming drivers won’t see you.
7. Work On Your Car Away From Traffic
If you get out of your car, always step out on the side where there is no traffic. If you have to work on your car, for example, to fix a flat tire, work on the side away from traffic.
8. Always Check Before Leaving the Car
There may be situations where it’s safer to get out of the car than to stay in it. For example, if you see smoke or fire coming from the car, get out of the car and move to a safe location.
Make sure to always check for oncoming traffic if you’re stuck in the middle of the highway.
9. Call 911 For Help
If you’re in a dangerous situation such as being stuck in the middle of the highway, call 911 for help. Emergency services can advise you on what to do. If you were in an accident, you should also call 911.
If you’re in a safe location, you should also call a close relative or friend and let them know where you are.
10. Call Roadside Assistance
Call a roadside assistance company to help service your car. Many companies offer 24/7 emergency roadside assistance such as tire changes or towing.
Tell roadside assistance your location and special circumstances such as if you have kids and infants that require car seats.
Choosing a Roadside Assistance Company
A roadside assistance company can provide help during situations such as these.
Whether your car broke down and needs towing, or you got a flat that needs changing. Or maybe you forgot to fill up the gas tank and your car stopped–roadside assistance can help with that too.
Choose a Company That Serves Your Area
You want to choose a roadside assistance company that is nearby. You don’t want to be stuck waiting around for a tow truck that is located far away.
Do some research and find companies in your area. Read online reviews and see what services they offer.
Have Their Information Available
When you choose a company, have the information available when you need it. You can save their contact information on your phone. If others drive your car, you can write down their contact info and leave it in the glove compartment.
You don’t want to have to worry about finding contact information while in the middle of a car trouble situation.
Have an Emergency Kit in Your Car
The National Safety Council recommends every car have an emergency safety kit. This kit should include items such as a spare tire, reflective vest, and a tool kit. You should check this kit every 6 months to make sure all the items are in good condition.
Why Choose Parker Towing for Roadside Assistance
Roadside assistance can save you a headache by providing you with help when you need it most. You can rest easy knowing that there will always be someone to call when you have car trouble.
For more tips during an automotive emergency, check out additional articles in our blog.