Whether there was an accident or a flat tire or your car won’t restart, waiting for a tow service truck to come to your aid doesn’t necessarily absolve you of your traffic duties. You have to prepare for their arrival and ensure your safety as well as the safety of other traffic participants. If you want a tow service intervention to go quickly, you need to prepare by following these simple steps…

Turn on the hazard lights

The first thing you should do is turn on your hazard lights located either near the steering column or dashboard. That way it will be easy for other drivers to see your car, especially at night. Hazard lights are also very helpful during inclement weather, such as snow or heavy rain, just remember that in some states you must be stationary to use them, otherwise you will get a fine.

Move Over

Since safety is of the essence, you cannot leave your mechanically disabled car in the middle of the road. Move it as far away from the active traffic as possible, preferably close to the shoulder or the emergency stopping lane. This way you will keep clear from the ongoing vehicles and make yourself easily detectable by tow service.


Once a tow truck driver is dispatched to you, you might want to acquire the name and license plate from a dispatcher. There are many towing services nearby, so that way you will easily verify if the tow driver who comes to your aid is assigned to you.

Triangles and flares

You also have a duty to warn other traffic participants of your situation by placing triangles or flares behind your vehicle. One should be set up at a distance of ten feet from the car and another at about 30 feet. These highly visible markers guarantee safety by enabling other vehicles enough time and room to steer clear from you.

Collect your important stuff

It is highly likely that you will need to take more stuff with you than just your phone, keys, and wallet. Instead of kicking yourself for forgetting anything, collecting all the belongings will speed up the towing process and save you and your service time.

Estimate whether to wait in the car or outside

This is something where you should trust your instincts. If your car broke down on a busy highway, then it would be safer to stay inside with your seatbelt on once you finish placing markers and calling a tow truck service near you. However, if you have pulled over close to the shoulder, exit through the passenger door and keep clear from oncoming traffic.

Practice caution

While waiting for the tow truck, you still ought to be cautious of other drivers approaching. Some people will gladly offer help, and although most do have good only intentions, do not neglect your intuition and let strangers into your vehicle so easily. It is always better to leave things to the pros rather than to random passers-by.  


Waiting for a tow truck service is one of those situations you just have to deal with, there are no exceptions. Yes, it is a bit tedious and it can disrupt your plans, but since you don’t have any other choice, it’s best to be prepared and tackle the problem head-on. Handle yourself well and you’ll be back on the road in no time.