Waiting For A Tow Truck? 2 Ways To Keep Your Bad Day From Getting Worse

Once you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, it might be hard to imagine your day getting any more terrible. After your car sputters to a halt or that stranger rear-ends your ride, you might be frustrated enough with the circumstances. Unfortunately, unless you understand which steps to take next, your day might not improve significantly. Here are two things to do as you wait for towing so that you can keep your bad day from getting worse:

1: Learn More About Your Roadside Assistance Coverage

After you call your boss to let them know you might be a little late for work, you might find yourself using your smartphone to catch up on your favorite shows or to play a few online games. However, if you really want to put your time to good use, contact your auto insurance company to ask about your roadside assistance coverage. Here are a few things you should ask your insurer, and how this information can simplify your tow:

  • Reimbursement Vs. Deductible: Although some insurance companies ask that you pay a simple deductible for roadside service, other insurers ask that you foot the bill for the service and then submit reimbursement paperwork later. Unfortunately, if you don’t know what your insurer prefers, you might end up frustrated over finances when your tow truck driver asks you to pay for service. However, by taking the time to understand your coverage, you can take expenditures in stride, and avoid uncomfortable situations. 
  • Stuck Vehicles: Although most roadside assistance policies offer coverage for cars stranded along the side of the road, some companies won’t pay to have your car pulled out of a snow bank or a deep flood. Before your tow truck driver arrives, explain the situation to your insurance company to make sure they will cover the vehicle retrieval.
  • RV’s, Motorcycles, Trailers: Your insurance provider might be alright towing your car, but what about that trailer, RV, or motorcycle? If you have extra equipment, mention it to your insurer and the tow truck company to avoid delays and extra fines.

When you know what your insurance carrier will cover, you can communicate effectively with your tow truck driver and eliminate confusion. In addition to helping you to get on your way a little quicker, your tow truck driver might appreciate your organization. 

2: Create A Safe Situation For Tow Truck Drivers

Although you might be tempted to worry more about your car and your insurance coverage than you do about your tow truck driver, the fact of the matter is that towing is inherently dangerous. As tow truck drivers move heavy machinery into place, secure your vehicle, and work around heavy traffic, they risk being hit by oncoming cars filled with curious passengers. Believe it or not, tow truck drivers are six times as likely to be hit and killed than police officers or firefighters tending to the scene of an accident.

Fortunately, you might be able to keep your day from morphing into a nightmare by practicing a little roadside safety. Here are a few simple ways to make your tow easier, and to keep your driver safe:

  • Move Away From the Road: When you know that you are having car problems, try to pull your car as far away from the road as possible. Try to park in nearby parking lots, fields, or large road shoulders. The more room your tow truck driver has to work, the safer they can stay.
  • Use Hazard Lights: Once you have stopped, flip on your hazard lights. In addition to making it easier for your driver to identify your vehicle, it can also prompt nearby drivers to slow down.  

By putting your waiting time to good use, you might be able to avoid frustrating hassles and keep everyone safe.