Car breakdowns are very common and unfortunately once you have broken down you can’t do much apart from wait until the towing service arrives. Most car towing companies will try get to you as soon as they can, but there is no guarantee how long this will be. Therefore, whether you are on a well-lit main road or a dark country road, you should think about how to stay safe whilst waiting for the car recovery van.
What Can you Do?
1) Keep out of traffic
Once you have broken down the first thing to do is move your vehicle out of the way of traffic. You should move to the hard shoulder if you are on the motorway, or off the road if you are in an urban setting.
2) Put your hazards on
Ensure your hazard lights are turned on and make sure they stay on whilst you are waiting for the truck. This will let other drivers know that your car is disabled, it also makes the vehicle easier to see if you have broken down in the dark. Once you have done this call the towing service and let them know where you are.
3) Use a safety triangle
Not all cars are equipped with a safety triangle, but if you have one you should use it. You should put the triangle about 30 meters away from your car, toward the direction the traffic is coming from, but without putting yourself in danger. The emergency triangles are reflective and very visible, and therefore they alert other drivers to steer away from the stationary car.
4) Watch your valuables
For peace of mind, you should take your valuables with you when you get out of the car and keep them with you whilst you are waiting for the car towing company. This will ensure you are reducing the chance of them getting damaged or lost.
5) Get out of your vehicle
It might seem that staying in the car is safer, but the opposite is true. You should get out of your vehicle, making sure it is safe to do so, and instruct any passengers to do the same.
6) Pick a safe waiting location
Once you are out of the vehicle select a safe location to wait for the towing service to arrive. This should be a distance away from the car. If you are on a motorway you should wait far away from the car and behind the crash bars, preferably on the grass verge.
7) Don’t drain your mobile battery
You might get a bit bored waiting for the car recovery company to arrive, but don’t entertain yourself by playing games on your phone and draining your battery. You may need your phone to make another call to the company coming to tow you, or they may need to call you to clarify your current location.
8) Don’t accept rides from strangers
Not all motorists will have bad intentions, but it is still a good idea to turn down an offer of a lift from a stranger, no matter how desperate you are to get to your destination.
Also, be wary of towing companies that happen to be driving by and offer you their service. Tow truck scams are common, and if you accept their offer you may find they charge hefty fees and will refuse to release your vehicle unless you pay.
We hope you don’t break down but if you do, bearing all these points in mind will help keep you safe whilst you wait for a car recovery company to come to your rescue.