A few weeks ago when my car died while I was driving, I didn't really know how to handle the situation. After things went south, I pulled over as quickly as I could to wait for the tow truck driver. Unfortunately, my car was basically sitting in the middle of a busy intersection, which made it really hard for my tow truck driver to do his job. After police closed off the intersection, I was finally able to have my car towed to a shop. On my website, you might learn how to follow basic emergency protocol so that you can stay safe and expedite repairs.
If your car breaks down and you're stranded, you will most likely need the assistance of a tow truck company. This service helps drivers get their vehicles off the road and to a service center, where they can begin repairs. But before you call the first towing company you can find, it's important to know your rights as a consumer, and to know how to deal with the towing company.
Are you Covered?
Before you shell out hundreds of dollars to a tow truck company, find out if roadside assistance is included with your current auto insurance policy. Some policies will include this service as an add-on, which can save you a whole lot of money when you're in a pinch. If you are an AAA member, call their 1-800 number directly, and they will dispatch one of their pre-approved towing services to your location. Both of these options can not only save you money, but can ensure you're using a company that has a good reputation.
Be Wary of Random Tow Trucks
If you're stranded, and a tow truck happens to pull up that you hadn't called for, politely let them know you're waiting for another company who is en route. Unsolicited tow truck drivers often drive around looking for motorists who need their help. While it may seem kind of them to do so and most have good intentions, keep in mind that they may charge you higher rates since they know you're in need of help. It's best to always use a company you either know or have been referred to by your insurance or roadside assistance company.
Before the Tow
Before your car is hauled off, you should get several pieces of information from the tow truck driver. Make sure they provide you with an invoice or receipt that has the company name and contact information on it. Be very clear about where you want your vehicle dropped off, and provide them with the exact address if possible. Check to ensure that the name posted on the truck matches the name on the receipt.
Your safety is paramount when you have a breakdown. Try to ensure that your car is in a safe area, such as a pull off or emergency lane, and never stand near the car on the side of traffic. Call a friend or family member to let them know your situation, and see if someone can pick you up. Some towing companies will provide you with a ride if need be, but can only drop you off to the location where you plan to leave your vehicle. Use flares or orange cones around your car while you wait, so motorists can clearly see your vehicle.
Towing companies like AA Action Towing Inc can be a real life-saver when you're stranded, but it's still important to proceed safely and wisely.