Breakdowns are part of life when you own or operate a vehicle. Being stuck on a busy road or out in the middle of nowhere can be nerve-wracking, however, and there are a few steps you should take to maintain safety while waiting for your tow truck to arrive. Below are the main actions to take if you’re stuck on the side of the road waiting for assistance.

How to Be Safe When Waiting for a Tow Truck

1. Move Your Car Out of the Way

If you’re able, put your car in neutral and push it to the side of the road or on the shoulder, so it’s as far away from traffic as possible. This lowers the chance of an accident occurring and keeps you in a safe place until your towing company arrives.

2. Put on Emergency Flashers & Reflectors

Turn on your emergency or hazard lights to let others know where you are and make it easier for the truck to find you. You should also deploy a road flare or triangle reflector at least 40 feet behind your vehicle.

tow truckThese steps are especially important if it’s dark out, as it allows traffic to see you, signals that your car is unable to move, and lets them know to use caution when going around you, preventing an accident.

3. Stay in the Vehicle

Stay in your car once it’s safe and you’ve put out the reflectors or road flares. This prevents you from being near moving traffic that could accidentally strike you. Keep your doors locked and be wary of strangers that stop to help.

While most people are genuinely offering assistance, there’s always the small chance that some could be less than friendly. Thank anyone that stops for the offer but tell them your roadside assistance is on the way and stay in the car.

4. Know What the Tow Truck Will Look Like

You need to be able to recognize the vehicle that’s coming from the tow company, so you know when they get there, signaling that it’s safe to get out of the car and talk to them.

When you call your roadside assistance or towing company, ask them for a brief description of the truck that’s coming. Make sure you know the name and number of the company you called, as it will likely be displayed on the truck that arrives and will help you identify it. 


Are you stuck and need help from a tow truck? Bolster’s Towing in Kalispell, MT, has serviced the area since 1971 with prompt, reliable emergency tow services 24/7. They’re certified and experienced, and they’ll handle your vehicle with care to get it safely to a shop. They’ll help cars, trucks, semis, tractors, and trailers. Learn more about their services online, and call (406) 752-4528 for assistance.