I drive an older car that I always knew would break down some day in a bad place and need towed. I figured I could always easily look up the number of a towing company using my phone's internet service if I ever needed to. Recently, my car started making an alarming sound that led to me pulling off the road while driving down the highway. It then wouldn't start back up. I grabbed my cell phone and went to do a web search to find a local towing company, and I realized I had used up all of my data plan for the month! It was late at night, so I had to call and awaken friends until someone answered who could help. I created this blog to help others avoid the same embarrassment as me. Always keep the number of a tow truck company in your car.
Vehicle breakdowns can happen anywhere at any time. Unfortunately, many people aren't lucky enough to only experience breakdowns on low-speed roads with good visibility. It's easy to get stuck in some pretty hairy situations, such as breaking down on the highway in the middle of the night. Understanding how to get through these scenarios can help keep you and other motorists safe.
Fortunately, it only takes a little bit of caution and common sense to make it through even the worst roadside emergency. Next time you find yourself stuck on the side of the highway, keep these four essential pieces of information in mind.
1. You're Less Visible Than You Think
You might think that a car stuck on the side of the road is easy to see, but this isn't always the case. Many motorists might not be paying attention or may have their focus elsewhere. It only takes a moment of distraction on high-speed roads to lead to disaster. As a result, it's critical to make yourself as visible as you can by keeping your lights and hazards on.
If you can do so safely, you may want to pop your hood and leave it open. An open hood can help other motorists understand that your vehicle is disabled and not about to pull back into traffic.
2. It's Never Safe to Exit on the Driver's Side
Highway traffic movies quickly, and it's easy to misjudge how rapidly another car may be approaching. Motorists also sometimes make unpredictable maneuvers during highway driving, creating even more significant hazards. Unless you are very far from traffic, it's not safe to open your driver's side door and exit on the left while stuck on the highway.
If you must exit your vehicle, do so by moving over to the passenger side and exiting away from traffic. Once out of the car, you should move behind a barrier or safely away from the road.
3. You Shouldn't Leave Your Car Running
You want to keep your lights and hazards on, but it's a bad idea to keep your engine running. If you're suffering from engine trouble, leaving your engine on may cause additional damage. Even if you're on the side of the road with a flat tire, idling wastes gas and can harm the environment. It may also expose you to harmful gases if you're stuck during the winter and snow accumulates near your tailpipe.
4. Help Will Arrive
Once you put in a call to a towing service, it's only a matter of time until help arrives. While sitting on the side of a highway can be stressful, it's not helpful to attempt to exit your vehicle or, even worse, fix the problem yourself. The safest option is always to wait patiently so that a tow truck company can deliver your vehicle to a safe and secure location so you can resolve your issue.