Staying Safe During Towing

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How Should You Prepare For A Tow?

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If you're stuck on the side of the road, there's not much you can do to prepare for the arrival of a tow truck. In these emergencies, you'll often need to take your most important personal belongings and handle any other details once your vehicle is in a safer location. However, not all towing occurs under such stressful circumstances.

If your vehicle is in a relatively safe location, such as your driveway or a well-lit and public parking lot, you can take a little more time to prepare. These three tips will help prepare your car for a tow and ensure that your tow truck driver can load your vehicle as safely and efficiently as possible.

1. Understand Your Situation

Several details about your situation can affect how a towing company will decide to load your car. For example, it's often easier and faster to load a car onto a flatbed by driving it into position. If your car can start and run without potentially causing more damage, you'll want to let your driver know so they can decide the best course of action.

However, it's also crucial to understand if turning your car on may cause more trouble. Low oil, overheating, and thrown belts are all common situations that will stop your car from running or cause serious damage if you try to start it. By understanding your situation, you can tell your driver if it's unsafe to start your vehicle.

2. Remove Important Personal Items

If you're towing your car home, you can leave any important belongings inside. However, it's more likely you're towing a disabled vehicle to a local auto shop. Unless you go to the shop with your car, you might have trouble retrieving any necessary belongings. Once the car is on a lift or even parked in a holding area, the shop may be reluctant to provide access.

Since you won't know how long it may take to repair your car, removing anything you might need is a good idea. A good rule of thumb is that if you can't go more than a day or two without it, you should probably consider removing it before the tow truck arrives.

3. Separate Your Keys

A common mistake is to forget to separate your keys before sending your car on your way. If you have your house key on the same keychain as your car's keyfob, you might mistakenly toss everything in your center console and send it to the shop. Of course, realizing what you've done a few minutes later can lead to an embarrassing and frustrating situation.

To avoid finding yourself in this predicament, separate your keys before the tow truck arrives. You'll typically want to leave the keyfob for the car in the center console or another accessible location, but make sure you let both the tow truck driver and the shop know where you left it. Providing this heads-up can help save you some trouble and may even allow the shop to begin work sooner.