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Broken Down at Night? What You Need to Do

The last thing you want to have happen when you are traveling down the road is a vehicular breakdown, especially at night. Since your car can fail for a number of reasons, from a flat tire to radiator issues, you need to know what you should do in the event of breaking down on the road when it is difficult for other drivers and assistance to see you.

When you have kids or pets with you, you need to make sure you keep them safe until your towing company can arrive. Here are the things you should do when you are broken down on the road with dependents in tow so you can get back on the road safely in the dead of night.

Call the Police

The first thing you should do when you break down is call the police, especially if you are the only adult driver in the vehicle. The local police department will be able to send an officer to your vehicle so they can help you safely move your vehicle to the side of the road if you haven't done so already. It takes two people to move a car—one to apply brakes to keep the car from rolling away and another to push. So stay in the vehicle with your hazards on until help arrives.

The arriving police officer will give his or her name and badge number. You can contact the local law enforcement agency to verify any police officer who comes to your vehicle for added security.

Call a Tow Truck

A 24-hour emergency tow truck can be contacted either by a recommendation from the police officer who arrives on site or by your auto insurance agent. Let the representative you speak with know where you are, how many people or pets are with you, and if you need any additional emergency aid. You can request the tow truck driver to update you as he or she comes close to your destination so you are prepared.

Move Your Car to a Safe Location

Coast your car onto the side of the road if it is still running. If not, stay in the vehicle and have another adult get out and push while you place the car in neutral. Apply the brakes gently to control your car's direction until you get to a safer spot. Applying the brakes also sends out a bright light that other drivers can see so they can get out of the way and avoid hitting your vehicle.

Make Your Vehicle Noticeable

You want to make your car as visible to other drivers, the police, and the tow truck arriving to your destination as possible. Do this by tying a jacket or other material to your antennae (or you can roll a shirt up in your window so it hangs from the outside). A white or light-colored material is best for night-time visibility. Place your hood up to alert others of your engine troubles. Keep your hazards flashing even if you are far off the road.

Turn on the flashlight of your cell phone to signal for assistance as someone approaches your vehicle. The "SOS" code for a flashlight goes like this: flash your light three times rapidly, then do three long flashes, and then do three rapid flashes again.

Breaking down on the road at night can be a frightening ordeal. For swift and reliable service for your car transportation needs, contact Shasta County Towing. Our expert team of drivers will get your vehicle to your home or a repair shop as quickly as possible so you can address your car issues more effectively and stay safe on the road.