Breakdown assistance is an emergency service for motorists who unexpectedly break down with their vehicle.
If a vehicle breaks down, it’s important to take certain actions and be aware of the situation, according to the American Automobile Association’s website. Roadside assistance covers all breakdowns or problems you may encounter along the way.
Budgeting for a roadside assistance plan in the summer is beneficial because road trips in the summer can be lengthy and would help get you back on the road in an emergency, according to the Best Roadside Assistance website.
“It involves more than just drag and mechanical failures,” said Raj Mane, senior network manager at Allstate Roadside.
Some roadside assistance services include towing, fuel delivery, battery starting, flat tire replacement and key collection from a locked vehicle, according to the websites of several roadside assistance companies.
Information needed when calling for help
People need to have information about themselves, their vehicle and their location when they ask for help.
Other information needed includes a mechanic’s contact information, vehicle insurance details, and the car’s model and condition.
Contact roadside assistance?
An emergency number for roadside assistance can be found on the back of your driver’s license, said Josue De La Cerda, public information officer for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Roadside assistance is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week and year round, Cerda said.
By noting the location of the vehicle and knowing the nearest exit number, rest area and general area, dispatch knows where the exact location is, according to the American Automobile Association website.
Rate the problem
Make sure they know how to react to certain problems in the vehicle. Know how to react to unusual noises, steering problems, punctures and smoke from the hood.
Driving off the road
When driving on most roads it is important to exit on the far right berm. If you are driving on highways or multi-lane highways, drive to the left shoulder.
Warn other drivers
Make the vehicle visible to other drivers by activating the emergency flash.
Communicate your situation
Once in a safe location, let others know about the current situation. Note the environment so that individuals have an idea of where they are.
Call roadside assistance from the car. If you are outside the car, call a safe distance from both traffic and the vehicle.
Stay in the vehicle
If possible, stay in the vehicle until a road service provider arrives. When exiting the vehicle, do so safely by avoiding the roadways. If you stay in the vehicle, make sure the windows are up and all car doors are locked.
When help comes
Make sure to stay calm and cooperative, check the name of the service garage or provider and don’t try to help the service representative unless they ask.
It is your responsibility to understand what their roadside assistance or insurance policy covers.
Choosing a roadside assistance plan
“You want a company that can get you off the side of the road before you become a danger to yourself in the roadway or develop health problems,” Mane said.
Shop around to see which company has a plan that’s best for you, he said. People should see if their insurance plan includes roadside assistance.
“Always know how far your travels will take you and have a plan that suits you [you] or exceeds your needs,” Mane said.