Waiting for a Tow? Never Do These 3 Things!

Finding yourself stuck on the side of the road is never an enjoyable situation. It can become a particularly stressful ordeal if you're waiting for a tow in the middle of the night. Even the best towing services may take longer to reach you under these conditions, and it's important to know what you should (and shouldn't) do to stay safe.

Instead of creating a hazardous situation for yourself and other drivers, keep these three dangerous roadside activities in mind next time you're waiting for a tow. Avoiding these roadside mistakes will help you get your car (and yourself) home safely and quickly.

1. Change a Tire Yourself

There are numerous reasons why changing a tire on the side of the road can be a foolish choice. If your car comes with an emergency jack, it's important to remember these devices are only safe to use on flat, solid, level surfaces. The scissor jack typically found in emergency kits can be very dangerous on uneven ground, and you should never use one on dirt, gravel, or other loose surfaces.

Changing a tire also exposes you to traffic, which can be dangerous in its own right. Working outside of your car increases the likelihood that you may be hit and makes it far more likely you'll be injured if another driver strikes your vehicle. It's always better to wait for your tow truck driver to arrive so you can change your tire in a safe and secure location.

2. Attempt to Cross Traffic

No matter where you've broken down, it's never safe to attempt to cross traffic, especially if you need to move across a highway or a street with many cars. Staying in your vehicle is almost always the safer option, even if you can't completely get your car off the road. If you're in a hazardous location or blocking traffic, you should contact the police before requesting a tow.

If you need to exit your vehicle, it's safest to do so on the side that faces away from traffic, typically the passenger side. In these cases, try moving to the passenger seat and exiting from that side. While this might require some awkward maneuvering, it's a better idea than opening your driver-side door into the traffic flow.

3. Turn Off Your Lights

When stuck on the side of the road, you want to make your car as visible as possible. You should always keep your lights on, even during the day, and turn on your hazard signals. These steps will make your car more visible to other drivers and let them know that you're stuck. If you're in a safe location, you may also consider putting up hazard triangles or similar markers behind your car.

Getting stuck is stressful, and it's understandable to want to get out of your car as soon as possible. However, the safest option is to make your car as visible as possible and wait for help to arrive. For more information, reach out to a towing company.