It’s one of every driver’s worst nightmares. You’re driving through a new city, unknown region or neighboring state, and your car decides to blow a tire or otherwise quit on you. You’re forced to pull over to the side of the road. It may or may not be the dead of night. And, you’re stuck. It may be difficult to keep your composure in such situations, but remember that help isn’t far.
Many car models these days come outfitted with OnStar or some similar technology. The OnStar system delivers help wherever you are at the push of a button. While the system usually comes with an introductory service period on new vehicles, the service does require a subscription to remain an option for road travelers in a pinch. You should know if your vehicle is equipped with the service if there is a blue button prominently positioned in the front section of your vehicle. OnStar operators will be able to locate your vehicle using satellite technology, and can dispatch a tow truck to move your vehicle to a service station or dealership.
If you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, don’t forget your insurance company. Many insurance policies include roadside assistance free as part of your annual premium. If you are insured with one of the large national insurance companies, you should be able to reach an emergency customer service representative no matter the time of day. They can help to connect you with mechanics in the area and send a tow truck your way based on self reporting your location. Make sure you know where you are before you make the call.
There are also national organizations like AAA which offer a host of benefits in exchange for an annual membership fee. Roadside assistance is one of those benefits and members can call a special phone line 24/7 for help. Drivers can get help with major mechanical issues, or even simple issues like locked in keys, flat tires, jump starts and more.
If you have access to one of these benefits, or other roadside assistance service, you can breath easy if you find yourself in this kind of situation. If you need to find a service center or mechanic where you are, there are tons of resources online to help you like Cars.com. Just enter the zip code of your location for a complete list of mechanics in the area.