What To Do If You Get Stuck On The Side Of The Road

Femme appelant à l'aide, sa voiture est tombée en panne!

Whether you’ve run out of gas, experienced a flat tire, or were involved in a collision, getting stuck on the side of the road is never a pleasant experience. Here are some tips that any driver can appreciate before getting behind the wheel. 

Your next road trip is planned from A to Z: itinerary, clothes, food (and of course, masks!), you’ve thought of everything! Or did you?

Even the newest and best-maintained vehicles can run into trouble.

Being prepared is the first step any driver should take to ensure that they don’t encounter any unexpected issues while driving. What many drivers may come to learn is that an especially important feature to have is roadside assistance. Roadside assistance is a service that assists motorists, or bicyclists, whose vehicles have suffered a mechanical failure that leaves the operator stranded.

The best way to get safely out of a roadside breakdown or emergency is to make certain you are prepared – this includes a roadside assistance plan.

So is your vehicle ready to hit the road? Here are some car maintenance and safety tips to help ensure your trip is smooth and you’re better prepared if something happens along the way.

Tips before hitting the road

  • Make sure your car is in good condition: When was your last visit to a licensed mechanic? The last time you had an oil change or general checkup (engine fluids, tire pressure, wheel alignment, etc.)? Are the wipers in good condition in case of heavy rain or snow?
  • Always fill your tank before hitting the road. You never know if you will get stuck in unexpected traffic caused by an accident, a storm or something else.
  • Make sure you bring an emergency kit!
  • Driving during winter? Here are some tips for a safer winter driving experience.
  • Will you be driving at night? Here are 10 safety tips to read before hitting the road when the sun is down.

What should you do if you get stuck on the road?

Our partners at AXA have provided some important safety tips should a driving incident happen, be it a car accident, a flat tire or pretty much anything else:

  • If your car breaks down, contact your Roadside Assistance provider immediately at the number provided to initiate the recovery process and get you mobile again. A recovery provider name & estimated time of arrival will be provided; stay with or in the vehicle and wait for assistance.
  • If on the road, pull over onto the shoulder well out of the flow of traffic, and turn on your hazard lights to set a warning sign to other drivers that the vehicle is immobile. All passengers should stay in the vehicle while awaiting help. This is particularly important at night, during inclement weather, or if on a highway or busy road.
  • Keeping an emergency kit in the car is recommended at all times. Stock additional accessories in the winter or if travelling in accordance to the driving distance and destination. This can include a first aid kit, flashlights, extra batteries, warm blankets, emergency flares, warning lights and reflective warning signs, basic tools, washer fluid, and jumper cables. Water bottles are also recommended to ensure self-care.
  • If you need to take care of a small injury while waiting for help to arrive, use your emergency kit right away.
  • Ensure regular maintenance of the vehicle and make certain you have a jack and a spare tire on board that is checked regularly. Knowing how to change a tire or jump-start a dead battery is recommended.

What does Roadside Assistance cover?

Even if you took the time to have your vehicle inspected and maintained, you never know when you might have an unforeseen mechanical issue, flat tire or another reason that puts a stop to your travel plans. Roadside assistance services can provide some help, whether your car is at home, at work, in a parking lot or on the side of the road.

A roadside assistance service usually covers the following:

  • Towing Services
  • Emergency roadside pull-out (winch) service
  • Lockouts
  • Fuel delivery
  • Tire changes
  • Battery jump starts

So if you have roadside assistance and something happens on the road, you’ll feel reassured knowing you can get the help you need.

Allstate’s Roadside Assistance benefits program* protects members 24/7 across North America (except for Alaska and Hawaii) in the event of an automotive mechanical breakdown or malfunction — offering them and their family security and peace of mind in worrisome situations.

You can also access it, and other Allstate services, at any time through the mobile app for your phone (Android and iOS).

You’re ready to go!

But before you do, here are some useful tips to help ensure your safety on the road.

If you would like to know more about the Allstate Roadside Assistance program, please visit allstate.ca.

Last but not least, make sure you have the appropriate insurance, so you are better protected in case of an accident, theft or any other incident during your trip. You can learn more and get a quote in less than 5 minutes on Allstate.ca.

Safe driving!

Disclaimer: This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing specific legal or insurance advice.

*Allstate Roadside Assistance program currently only available to residents of Alberta, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario. Conditions, limitations and exclusions apply.