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3 Mistakes You're Probably Making While Waiting For Late Night Tows

Modern living can often feel incredibly safe and secure, but something will inevitably come along to pierce that bubble every now and then. Automotive issues are one of the more mundane ways this can occur, but they're still often stressful and sometimes even frightening. A breakdown in the middle of the night can be particularly troubling.

Since these events are relatively uncommon and out-of-the-ordinary, many people don't know how to react and may make poor or even dangerous decisions. This guide will help you identify three common mistakes you've probably made while waiting for a late-night tow so that you can avoid them in the future.

1. Failing to Notify Friends or Family

There's nothing more frustrating than limping your car over to the side of the road in the middle of the night. Most people want to resolve the situation as quickly as possible, typically by reaching for their phone and calling a towing company. While getting a tow should be a top priority, your first step should always be to notify a friend or family member about your situation.

Remember that even a nearby towing service will take some time to reach you, so notifying someone of your location allows them to check in and ensure everything is okay. While it can be embarrassing to admit that you're stuck on the side of the road, making that call is an important part of staying safe while waiting for help.

2. Leaving Your Car Running

While waiting for a tow to arrive, your main goal is to maximize your visibility, so you should leave your headlights on and your hazard lights flashing. If you have roadside flares or markers, you can put them out behind your car, but only if it's safe. Turning on your interior lights to illuminate the cabin is another way to increase visibility.

However, none of these steps require your engine to remain running. If you think you might have a mechanical failure, leaving your engine running can worsen the problem. Unless it's exceptionally hot or cold outside, you should avoid keeping the engine on unless you're sure that your car is mechanically sound.

3. Stepping Outside

The most dangerous thing you can do while waiting for a tow is standing near your vehicle. The safest options are to remain inside your car or to move well away from the road. If you're on a highway soft shoulder with a steep embankment or can't put distance between you and traffic, always stay inside the car. It's especially critical to avoid stepping outside at night or in poorly lit environments.

A good rule of thumb is to evaluate the area after safely pulling off the road and turning your car off. Are there any nearby stores or public areas you can reach without crossing a road? If so, those are decent places to wait for the tow truck to arrive. If not, it's best to stay in your vehicle and wait for help.

Reach out to a local 24-hour towing service to find out more.