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Preparing for Roadside Assistance

Preparing for Roadside Assistance

Preparing for Roadside Assistance

By: Melvin Magadia for Automart.PH

Roadside emergencies can happen anytime. Your car may break down, experience flat or blown tires, or your brakes may malfunction. No one wants to be in this situation, but being prepared can make a huge difference in getting yourself out of the difficult predicament you find yourself in. This is where roadside assistance comes in.

If you have car insurance, roadside assistance is usually an add-on you can avail of with your provider. With this add-on, you are entitled to receive professional service from their partners in case your car breaks down or figures in an accident. Depending on your needs, the insurance company may send a tow truck or move your car to the nearest repair shop or technician for minor repairs like changing a flat tire or jumpstarting your battery.

Getting Ready for Roadside Assistance

No matter how well-maintained your car is, unexpected things can cause your vehicle to break down or become difficult to operate. Changing weather conditions, reckless driving from other drivers, debris flying out, and others are factors that may cause roadside emergencies. If you find yourself in such a mess, here are some tips to get you out of it.

1. Get your vehicle out of traffic

In most major highways where the speed limit is at least 60 kph, some drivers may be able to spot you from a distance, while others may not. If you do not get out of the way, there is a chance of a collision resulting in more damages and injuries.

Remove your vehicle from the busy highway as soon as possible. Drive it to the nearest shoulder or as far out of traffic as possible. If you need to leave your vehicle and it is unsafe to exit through the driver’s side, exit through the passenger side. If you can’t get it out of the way, don’t try to push it yourself. Wait for help to arrive.

2. Make Your Vehicle Visible To Others

Once you have pulled your car over to the side, ensure that other drivers can see it. Just because you have moved your car to the side does not mean drivers are aware of your situation. Once it is safe to do so, use your hazard lights, and/or early warning device to alert oncoming vehicles to slow down to avoid collisions.

When placing your hazard triangle, there is a proper distance for positioning it. The LTO recommends setting up two hazard triangles– a red triangle at least four meters from your vehicle and a yellow triangle at 6 meters– but if you were pulled over on the highway, you would likely place it even further since cars will be coming in at a faster speed. Aside from incoming motorists, your hazard triangle will inform your rescue truck once it arrives.

3. Always Stay Alert  

Even if your car is already visible to other drivers, you must still be alert. Keep the door of your car locked and stay inside your vehicle. Ensure that you and your passengers have your seatbelts fastened.  If you exit your vehicle, stay away from the moving traffic.

4. Find The Reason Why Your Car Broke Down

Before seeking help, try to fix the issue yourself first. Find out the common reasons why cars break down. This could help you prepare for troubleshooting in case they occur. Most car breakdowns include a dead battery, an empty fuel tank, an overheated engine, or a flat tire.

5.  Have The Proper Tools Ready

One of the best ways to prepare yourself for roadside assistance is to keep some basic supplies. Aside from ensuring a spare tire on your vehicle, ensure that you have an emergency kit on hand, which could include first aid, bottled water, and nonperishable snacks. Flashlights are also important, especially at night.  

6. Stay Calm

During roadside emergencies, it is important not to panic. Not knowing what to do during roadside emergencies can be stressful, but panicking will not be helpful either. It is best to stay calm. Panicking will keep you from making sound judgments. In times like these, you need to be as calm as possible so you can find the best solution to get yourself out of a difficult predicament.  

7. Call For Assistance

Some roadside emergencies are best left in the hands of professionals. This is where roadside assistance benefits come in. Insurance companies do offer them, so call your provider and ask if your insurance coverage includes roadside assistance. Coverages will vary from one insurance company to another.  It may include benefits such as towing service, minor repairs, accommodation arrangements (if the repair will take more than a day), or a replacement car to take you to your destination while your car is being repaired.

Roadside emergencies need not be stressful. Knowing what to do in these situations is essential to maintain your composure and finding the best solution.

Content Editor Kyle Liong contributed to this story.

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