Lady waiting for roadside assistance in her car with her dog

How to Stay Safe While Waiting for Roadside Assistance


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Do you know how to stay safe while waiting for roadside assistance in Australia? A car breakdown can be an altogether unsavoury experience but having roadside assistance means a light at the end of the tunnel. However, staying safe while you wait is a must-do cherry on top.

In this article, PD has prepared a list of the safety tips you need to know:

Move the vehicle out of the road

If your engine has cut out but your car’s still coasting, use that momentum to navigate your car to the side of the road. This might also be a good idea when your car’s putt putting and seems like it’s about to break down.

You’d rather pull over and park while you have more control over the car than drive another minute and break down in the middle of traffic.

Try your best to get your car completely out of the road so it’s clear of traffic – whether you’re on a suburban street or a highway.

this is a hazard light button, which you should push when waiting for roadside assistance

Get your hazards blinking

As soon as you know something is up with your car get your hazards flashing. If you need to slow down then pull over, this will alert the traffic around you that you’re in a pickle. (And they can be more accommodating).

This also applies when you’ve pulled over. Keep your hazards going so moving traffic knows your car isn’t moving. It’s not always visually obvious that a car in the distance isn’t moving until you’re suddenly right up and close.

Regardless of what time you experience a car breakdown keep those hazards blinking. The flashing lights will help keep your car visible. We strongly suggest you do this whether you’re waiting for roadside assistance during the day, night, dusk or dawn.

Have your roadside assistance details ready to go

Have your roadside assistance number (1800 776 473 if you’re with PD Insurance) ready to go on speed dial. Before calling in, give your surroundings a scan or check out your GPS. Do you know where you are? If yes, that’s great as you’ll need to share this information.

If you don’t, try to remember the last familiar landmark you passed as a point of reference. Take in your surroundings so you can easily describe them to the operator when you call. Also have your membership number and car registration ready to give the operator.

Tell them what happened. How did your car break down? Did it cut out abruptly or start putt-putting before giving in? These details are useful information for roadside assistance to have on record.

women upset on the phone alongside broken down car

Wait with your car for roadside assistance

Stay with your car while waiting for roadside assistance to arrive. What does this mean? Read more about car safety in this respect below, as well as in our Who Do You Call When Your Car Breaks Down? article.

Obviously, your rescue squad won’t be able to do any emergency repairs or find out what’s up with your car unless you’re there when they arrive.

Did you know car towing after incident can be different to towing as part of your roadside assistance? Read ‘Does My Car Insurance Cover Towing?’ to find out more.

Use your reflective car breakdown triangle

While you’re waiting for roadside assistance put up your emergency triangle. The reflective emergency triangle should be placed a few metres behind your broken down car, provided it’s safe to do so.

In a breakdown situation there’s never a reason to put yourself at risk, which is why you want to have the triangle up. It helps make sure your vehicle is visible and helps warn other drivers of potential hazards.

man puts up his emergency triangle after a car breakdown while waiting for roadside assistance

Stay visible while waiting with your car

Take note, sometimes it’s hard for other drivers to see people standing with their cars. This can mean you’re at risk of being knocked by passing traffic if you stand next to your car. If there’s a roadside barrier, stand behind it.

If you’ve moved your car off the road and it’s not in the traffic, then you can also stay in your car. Keep yourself buckled up while in the car. Anything can happen and if someone does bump your car while you’re in it then having your seatbelt firmly secured is best.

Preserve your phone battery

Most times when we’re waiting, our instinct is to jump on our phone. When you’re waiting for roadside assistance however, your phone is your lifeline. Roadside assistance will contact you on it. Friends or family will contact you on it. (Of course you can let them know you’re broken down).

As irresistible as it might be to check out your Facebook feed or take some snapshots, it’s best not to. You really don’t want to be using your phone as an entertainment device when you’re broken down. Keeping your battery level optimum is important to your security.

Man behind the steering wheel of a broken down car checks his phone battery while waiting for roadside assistance

Be alert when waiting for roadside assistance

Another reason not to get on your phone except to call roadside assistance and a close contact is distraction. When you have a car breakdown it’s a good idea to avoid distraction. Even though you’re not driving, you’re still technically in a road situation and it’s always good to keep calm and stay vigilant.

Come prepared

Chances are you’re reading this not because you’re waiting for roadside assistance but because you’re making sure you’re prepped in case it happens – nice!

Another part of prepping in advance is having some basics packed in your car. We’ve put together a list of 10 things to keep in your car survival kit to simplify the process.

Choose award winning car insurance

Having car insurance is great for your peace of mind too. Not only does it mean your car is safeguarded, it means your pocket is too.

Whether your car is written off or damaged from theft, hail, storm, fire or incident – depending on the level of cover you choose – your car insurance can help cover costs. That means your policy can help you get a replacement vehicle or have your car repaired, depending on the situation.

Of course, once you have award winning car insurance, you can get roadside assistance for a little extra. Click below to start your quote.

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