For most people, having a breakdown and needing a tow is an experience much like going to the dentist with an abscessed tooth. The dentist will relieve your suffering, but it’s also an unplanned inconvenience.

It’s a similar situation when your vehicle breaks down. It’s seldom planned and nearly always an inconvenience. Even worse is when you’ve been in an accident. You may be distressed and not thinking straight. If your breakdown is in a parking lot, you may simply be annoyed.

Whether it’s simply a flat tire or something more serious, here’s what you need to do.

1.     First, move your car off the road as much as possible.

This has always been rule number one when your car breaks down while you’re on the road. With the abundance of people driving while distracted these days (texting or looking down at their smartphones), it’s even more important to get your car as far off the thoroughfare as possible. The last thing you want is to be rear-ended.

2.     Put your flashers on.

A lot of times other drivers may see a vehicle up ahead and assume it is moving. They may look down to turn the channel on the radio or check who that email is from and when they look up it’s too late to veer. You can never assume other drivers are paying attention. Sometimes it happens to us where we see something but it doesn’t immediately register.

3.     Make the call.

Call for help (#callthedukeboys or any other local towing company, emphasis on local) only after your vehicle is in a safe place out of the flow of traffic.

4.     Stay with your vehicle.

If you feel it is unsafe to stay inside the vehicle, then get out and stand nearby, but don’t leave. Your tow truck driver will need your key to put the vehicle in neutral, and will also need additional information regarding where to take it and how the tow is being paid for. 

Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but when it happens, it’s good to have a plan regarding what to do next.