No one ever wants to be the victim of a broken down car, but chances are, at some point or another, all of us will be. Every now and then you’ll luck out and you’ll just need a jumped battery or to let the car cool down before being able to continue driving.
However, you’ll discover that you need to have your car towed to a mechanic for further diagnostic and mechanical services. If you’ve never experienced this before, the process may temporarily overwhelm you.
Preparation is key. Knowing what to expect from your tow and having any state-specific materials you might need available to you will make the situation much easier to deal with.
When your car breaks down, you must first and foremost secure your safety. If possible, move the car to the side of the road away from traffic. Everyone who can, should stay inside the vehicle. Turn on your hazard lights.
If you are unable to pull the car to the side of the road, it’s even more important to immediately turn on your hazard lights. This will make your vehicle visible to other drivers on the road. If you’re able, it is also helpful to set flares around your car to mark a perimeter that will help keep you, your car, and others safe.
Return to your car and lock your doors, particularly if you’re alone. If anyone approaches you, it’s always a good idea to stay in your vehicle and speak to him or her through a partially opened window.
Once you’ve done what you can to keep yourself and others safe, it’s time to determine your plan of action. Depending on the preparations you’ve made ahead of time, this can take as little time as just a few minutes.
The first thing you should do is to check your insurance. Many insurance carriers offer roadside assistance. In our current society, it’s not uncommon for your insurance information to be available via an app on your smartphone. Make sure you have this app set up before you ever get on the road to minimize obstacles in the event of a broken down vehicle.
If you don’t have the app available, never leave home without paper copies of your insurance cards. The customer service number is listed on the card, so you can easily call and verify that you have coverage for roadside assistance for towing Bolingbrook, IL.
If you don’t have roadside assistance, your insurance carrier can still often recommend a towing service to assist you. They may even make the call, but if not, they can give you a phone number to call for service.
If all else fails, Google can give you a recommendation for a towing Bolingbrook, IL and you can call them. Make sure you know where you are located, including any landmarks that are located nearby.
If you’re lucky and your car breaks down in the middle of a large city, a town truck may be available in relatively short order. But often, there is at least a moderate wait time involved in waiting for a tow truck to arrive.
However, this isn’t all bad. Use the wait time to make the next set of preparations. First, decide if you’ll be riding with the tow truck driver and your vehicle to its destination. If you’re having the vehicle towed to your home, it’s likely to make sense for you to ride with the driver.
However, there are always occasions in which it will be more convenient for you to arrange a ride to a location other than where your vehicle will end up. Take this time to make these arrangements, if necessary.
This is also an excellent opportunity to place a call to your mechanic, if necessary. They often appreciate a heads up that your vehicle will arrive and if they have instructions to begin diagnostic procedures, all the better.
It should go without saying, but while you wait, keep your hazard lights on and your doors locked. Staying vigilant can keep you safe.
Once your tow truck arrives, you’ll probably feel a measure of relief. It’s likely that the driver will ask for ID and registration, so have it ready to go. You may also need to provide proof of insurance, paper or digital.
You’ll need to sign a release of liability form that says you understand the inherent risks of having your car towed and that you won’t hold the towing company liable for any unlikely and unavoidable damages.
After you’ve signed all you need to sign, ask the tow truck driver what the next step is. Some drivers prefer to load the vehicle 100% themselves while others are comfortable with your assistance.
Regardless of who does what, the important thing to know is that the vehicle will likely be put into neutral and either driven on to a flatbed for transportation, or it will be put into neutral and pulled on to the truck with heavy duty chains.
Either way, it will be secured to the truck and the driver will then transport it to its next location. Depending on what you’ve decided, you’ll either join the driver in the cab of the truck or you’ll wait for your ride to appear.
It’s probably inevitable that this information will come in handy. Most people experience a broken down car at some point in their lifetime. By having your information ready and accessible, you’ll be able to meet the challenge without adding more discomfort or frustration to your situation.
So, if your car breaks down, take a deep breath. Never forget that your safety is more important than anything else. Gather your needed information and make a plan. Soon, both you and your vehicle will be taken care of and your day can only get better from there.
By staying calm, safe, prepared, you’ll see how manageable your first tow truck experience can be.