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How Should You Handle Late-Night Breakdown?

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Calling a tow for a breakdown during the day isn't fun, but it's typically a pretty stress-free experience, especially if you're in a familiar area. On the other hand, calling for a tow late at night in unfamiliar surroundings can be a far more anxiety-inducing situation. If you find yourself in this predicament, it's critical to stay calm and take the steps necessary to get help quickly and safely.

Evaluating Your Situation

Your first step during any breakdown should be to evaluate your immediate situation. As long as your car is safely out of traffic, you can take a deep breath and calmly ask yourself a few essential questions:

  • Is your vehicle easily visible to other drivers?
  • Are you in a well-lit or heavily populated area?
  • How far is it to the nearest public location, such as a store or restaurant?
  • Are you in an area with a lot of traffic, or are you stuck on a relatively quiet road?

Your first concern should always be keeping your car as visible as possible to other drivers. If you have a mechanical problem, don't keep your vehicle running, but make sure to keep your hazard lights on. If possible, leave the key in the "on" position with your headlights turned on. You may drain your battery more quickly this way, but it will improve your visibility to other drivers.

You should also avoid leaving your vehicle unless you're in a well-populated area and very close to a public location. Waiting in a nearby store can sometimes be a good idea, but stick to places close enough that you can easily see your car. It's a particularly bad idea to try to walk down a poorly lit road in an unfamiliar area.

Arranging for a Tow

Once you've determined the best way to stay safe, you should contact a friend or family member to let them know where you are. Since this only takes a few seconds, it's a good idea to do this before looking for a local towing company. Make sure you keep them updated with your current situation, including informing them about the estimated arrival time for the tow truck.

If you subscribe to a roadside assistance program, they can usually set you up with a local 24-hour towing company. If not, don't be afraid to take a few minutes to research local towing companies on your phone. Once you find one that seems reliable, make sure to provide them with as much information about your location as you can.

Waiting for a tow truck in the middle of the night can be nerve-wracking, but following these tips will ensure that you can remain safe and quickly put the entire ordeal in your rearview mirror. 

Contact a 24-hour towing service for more information.