It happens to everyone at some point. You’re driving alone and you hear a noise you shouldn’t (and this time you decide not to just crank the stereo and drown it out) or you notice that your tire has decided to shred itself without asking you first. What do you do? Pulling over is the first and most obvious step and if it’s not I beg you to please stay off the roads.
Do you have a membership to an auto club (AAA or the like)? Yes? Call them. I know it sounds simple but as the wife of a tow operator I can’t tell you how irritating it is to get a call in the middle of the night, or when we’re trying to eat, or just well any time from someone trying to set up their own tow only to find out that these people expect the tow company to do their job but bill your insurance? It’s beyond irritating. Let me tell you that it is not the tow company’s job to get an insurance company or an auto club to pay your bill. If you are a member of one of these clubs call them first. They have a list of providers they use and trust… think background checks here people… and are more than willing to call and get dispatched to your location.
Speaking of location. KNOW WHERE YOU ARE. I know it sounds like a simple thing but it’s an important piece of information. Mile markers on the interstates are your friends. This can be the difference between a swift rescue and a driver having to circle 20+ miles to find your car.
Do you have to be with your car? No, but it is handy if you leave your keys for the driver. And as long as we’re talking about things that make a tow operator’s life easier I’m going to let you in on a secret; leave your car unlocked. I know it goes completely against all you’ve ever been told but do you really want to have to pay for an unlock service on top of your tow?
You have to pay for your tow? Sometimes. Depending on your coverage with your auto club you may only be covered for a few miles and after that amount you’re on your own usually at a discounted rate. Don’t think that getting an attitude will change this either. It usually ends up with your car impounded (extra fees there my friend) and you’re walking.
Since I mentioned attitude I’ll just touch on the part that attitude makes all the difference. Yes, you’re in a pickle. But does freaking out at 3am to a stranger that a 30 minute wait time is to long really make that person want to run to your aide? In a word, NO! Be nice. These people are risking their lives multiple times a day on the sides of America’s roads to help you. Be courteous.