Important Tips for Handling a Winter Roadside Emergency

PRESS RELEASE: December 12, 2012 - Winter is here and in the event of an unfortunate circumstance, it’s important to know how to handle a roadside emergency. offers these important tips to remain safe, get the help you need and stay warm during an emergency in the winter.

Understanding what to do in a roadside emergency is crucial. Whether you have engine tire or a flat tire to bad weather conditions or an illness, these tips from will help you stay safe until proper help arrives.

Get Roadside Assistance

When you buy a new car, some dealerships include a roadside assistance package as an added bonus. If you car does not come with roadside assistance or if you’re driving an older vehicle, you should look into purchasing a plan. In an emergency, it will come into great use. Some insurance companies also offer roadside assistance, so be sure to ask when obtaining car insurance quotes.

Mark off the Road Area

Be well-prepared during an emergency with an emergency kit. The kit should included reflectors and flares to mark off the road area; helping other cars to see that there is an emergency on the road. Turn on your hazard lights as well. Marking the area is especially important when stuck on the highway, as cars are going a higher speed and it’s more difficult to see a stalled car.

Wait in your Car

Especially with the cold months ahead, you should wait for help in your car to stay warm. Once you’ve marked the area, get back in the car and wait for help to arrive. If you stand on the side of the road, you’re putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

Get out of the car only when help arrives on the scene, and only for the emergency assistance you have called for. Others may stop and offer their help. In some cases it might be ok, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution and stay in the car until professional help arrives.

Work on the Vehicle Cautiously

If the roadside emergency is one that can be easily repaired, such as a flat tire, it will require that people be out of the car and on the roadside. Make sure that you’re visible to other drivers before starting any work. If possible, work on the side of the vehicle that is away from the passing traffic.

If it’s more complicated, call for assistance and then wait inside the vehicle. In some cases, it’s best to just let a professional handle it even though it may seem simple enough. It’s safer to stay off the side of the road as much as possible.

Flag Other Drivers with Care

Cell phones have made it generally unlikely that flagging down help will be necessary, but sometimes they do fail. Whether out of cell range or a dead battery, if help is badly needed and there’s no way to call, it may be required that you flag down help.

If another driver pulls over, ask them to either call for or go get help. Then wait inside the vehicle until help arrives on the scene. While the person who pulls over is likely a helpful passing motorist, there is no reason to take a risk. Ask them to go for help, and stay safe in the car.