It seems as though everyone has a breakdown story, your older brother who broke down and spent the night at a 24-hour fast food joint because his phone had died and he couldn’t remember any phone numbers? Or, your friend who had a flat tyre in Nelspruit and sat on the side of the road crying until her dad arrived three hours later from his office in Johannesburg.
Unfortunately, not all breakdown stories have a happy ending. Crime is a reality in South Africa and the vulnerable (sitting alone on the side of the road) are at risk of meeting up with a not-so-friendly thug.
Roadside assistance a helping hand for any mechanical breakdown
Roadside assistance* really comes in handy when you find yourself in a breakdown situation. Knowing that there is a professional rushing to your rescue can really put you at ease.
It is also more likely that a roadside assistant will be closer to where you find yourself stranded (than a friend or family member). If the problem is serious, the friendly assistant will also be there to assist you in taking your car to an approved dealer for repairs.
What if I am in a bad area?
While trying to assess the problem or waiting for help, it is important to be aware of your surroundings.
If there is no safe place to take refuge like a restaurant or shopping mall, lock yourself in your car while you wait for your roadside assistance hero, friend or relative. While you wait, try stay off your phone as not to waste battery life in case of emergency.
Those who travel alone often may also want to keep a tin of pepper-spray in their car or even a small can of body spray. Body spray? Well, if you are harassed while stranded, body spray can act as a low-tech version of mace.
What if I am on a busy highway?
We all know the speed that some cars go on the highway, so it is important to try get as far away from traffic as possible. If there is an emergency lane or a safe grassy area, pull over.
It is also a good idea to always carry a warning device in your car, like a triangle. Place your triangle a good distance from your car and put your hazard lights on until someone arrives to help you or tow your car away.
While you are outside of your car on the highway, make sure you are as visible as possible. If you don't have a reflective vest, carry a torch and make your lightest clothing visible – if you have a black jacket over your white shirt, take the jacket off!
* All warranties (original or extended), service plans, maintenance plans, and roadside assistance packages differ in terms of features, benefits and, terms and conditions. This blog is for illustration purposes only.
This article is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information in this article is strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of the information contained in this article.