Consider the following scenario: your car engine suddenly stops while you’re driving. Luckily, you manage to control your vehicle and quickly steer it to the side of the road. You open up the bonnet only to be greeted by a massive cloud of smoke. You didn’t use enough coolant and now your engine has overheated and caused other electrical problems.
Needless to say, you’re stranded and you’re not going anywhere, so you call a tow truck to haul your car to the nearest auto shop. What are some of the things you should and should not do in the meantime as you wait for the tow truck to arrive? Here are 6 tips to keep you safe as you’re waiting for roadside assistance.
1. Put on Your Hazard Lights
Hazard lights signal to other motorists that your car is immobilized and is, therefore, a temporary obstruction, especially if you’re stranded on a busy road. It also makes your car more visible and easier for the tow company to find, especially if you’re in an area with lots of cars or if you’re stranded in a remote area at night. To make yourself more visible, go ahead and put out your reflective triangles as well as other warning devices.
2. Stay in Your Vehicle Only if it’s Safe
If you’ve managed to steer your car off the road to a secure location then it’s best to stay inside and wait for help to arrive. However, if your vehicle stopped on the highway, staying inside makes you a sitting duck for a crash. In such a case, gather all your valuables from the car and proceed to wait from a secure location. Make sure that you stay within sight of your vehicle while you wait for help.
3. Be Cautious of People Offering You Help
While you’re waiting, resist the urge to accept unsolicited help from strangers to fix your car. Although some may have the best intentions, you can never know who’s genuine and who’s trying to take advantage of your situation. This also includes people offering you a free ride. Be extremely alert and cautious, especially at night, as this can result in mugging.
4. Stay Off Your Phone
Resist the temptation to check your social media or play games on your phone as you wait so as to conserve your battery. In case the tow company needs to verify your location or needs more information to find you, you need to be able to use your phone to direct them accordingly.
5. Don’t Try Fixing the Car on Your Own
Especially if the car is situated by the roadside. With so much moving traffic, you’re putting yourself at risk of being injured or killed. It’s best to wait for the tow truck and have your car fixed by a professional.
6. Stay Calm and be Patient
Panic impairs your decision-making ability, which makes you susceptible to bad judgments that can put your life at risk, especially if it’s cold and dark. If you’re alone in a remote area and you’re panicking, consider calling a family member or friend to help you collect yourself and guide you to make the best decisions.