It's a dark and stormy night. You're rushing to reach your journey's end, squinting over the steering wheel in the pouring rain when, out of nowhere, something dashes in front of your vehicle. With a sickening feeling you feel a thump. Your car stops, and when you turn the key to reignite the ignition, silence.
From here, this story can go two different ways: a long and terrifying night, marooned on a lonely stretch of road, or a beam of shining headlights heralding the arrival of professional assistance.
Mechanical failures and accidents are never fun, but these things do happen, and how they turn out all comes down to being prepared. With mechanical assistance and access to a tow truck when you need it most, roadside assistance offers you the chance to turn a bad situation around, quickly and painlessly.
So what can you do in the event of a breakdown or accident?
First, stay calm. It's going to be OK.
If your car still has the ability to move, drive slowly to a safe place, pull over and activate your hazard lights.
If it's dark, make sure to keep your headlights shining.
Call for roadside assistance and tell the operator where you are to the best of your knowledge.
If you're not sure exactly where you have stopped, use the location feature on your phone to find yourself on a mapping app, such as Google Maps.
Call home, or phone a friend, and let them know where you are.
Stay in your car with your doors locked and all windows closed until help arrives.
What will happen when roadside assistance arrives?
The help available to you will depend on what has gone wrong. Battery problems are common causes of calls for help, and your roadside service will come equipped with a range of standard batteries. They'll swap your old battery for a new one, to get you powered up and back on the road.
If you've been in an accident your roadside assistance will be able to assess the extent of the damage and advise you whether it's safe to continue driving. They'll make accident towing available to you if you need it, and make sure you get to a safe place.
In fact, while they may not be able to fix every mechanical problem your car throws at you, they will get you out of harm's way and back to your loved ones as soon as possible. Roadside assistance is simply an affordable insurance policy against the uncertainties of driving.