Roadside Assistance: How to Handle Winter Road Emergencies
Dan Levenson February 15, 2022
The winter is a dangerous time for driving. No matter how careful you are or how experienced you may be with icy roads, there is always a chance of a wintertime accident. Black ice can catch your wheels by surprise. A pile of snow may suddenly become loose from the car ahead and hit your windshield. Or perhaps you have it under control, but the car ahead of you spins out. From popped tires and winter road damage to icy slides, it’s important to be prepared for winter road emergencies.
There are three critical aspects to winter auto preparation. The first is preparing your car for winter conditions. The second is having emergency survival supplies in case you need to wait an hour or more for the tow truck. The third is making sure your insurance includes winter roadside assistance so you can call for help fast without worrying about the cost of rescue and repairs.
Preparing Your Vehicle for Safe Winter Driving
First, make sure your car is ready to take on the road conditions of winter in your region. For some, this might mean tire chains and a snow shovel in the trunk, for others, it might just mean checking the treads on your all-weather tires. If your region freezes, you’ll want to go down the basic checklist so that your engine, windshield, and tires are all ready for winter.
- Check your treads
- Switch to winter tires
- Stock tire chains for mountain passes
- Replace wiper fluid with winter formula (alcohol-based doesn’t freeze)
- Switch to winter-weight oil
- Make sure your engine block warmer is ready for cold mornings
Packing Your Car’s Winter Emergency Kit
Next, make sure that if you do experience a winter auto accident, you will be safe inside the car. This means supplies to keep warm, stay hydrated, and prevent your car from being hit on a narrow shoulder. You will also likely benefit from a few useful supplies to keep inconveniences (like freezing over in the parking lot) from becoming an emergency.
- Blankets, coat, mitten, hat, etc
- Chemical warmers
- Flashlight and batteries
- Handheld ice scraper and snow brush or folding shovel
- Jumper cables
- Bottled water and granola bars
- Road flares or reflector triangles for around the car
- Windshield cleaner/melter
Making Sure You Have Roadside Assistance Coverage
One of the best ways to make sure you are rescued quickly from an icy spin-out and other winter auto emergencies is roadside assistance. When your insurance includes roadside assistance, you can call for help immediately with the confidence that a local tow truck and rescue team will be on their way. Coverage with your insurance means that the tow and likely any following repairs won’t come out of your pocket, so you can focus primarily on surviving the emergency and getting back to your warm home or office in one piece.
To make sure you have roadside assistance, log into your auto insurance policy. Most auto insurance providers include roadside assistance as an option, with a minimal cost to add it to your plan. Roadside assistance works by partnering with local towing companies and auto body shops to ensure there are covered providers near you at all times, ready to provide assistance any time you have a roadside emergency.
Is your personal vehicle or company fleet ready for winter road hazards? With the right preparation, your vehicle will be ready to get through most winter hazards with confidence. With the right roadside assistance coverage, you can know that help is on the way without worrying about costs should you wind up in trouble on the winter roads.
For more information on auto insurance and roadside assistance coverage, contact us today.