If you haven't been in an accident (or had car trouble), it is good to know what to do should you get stranded. Here are five things you should do:
1. Turn your hazards on. Make sure you are in a safe place and then make your car as visible as possible. You can also open your hood to show others that your car is not working and to make your car more visible. If it has overheated, this will help, too. If you have hazard triangles, place those in front of and behind your vehicle. If you can't move your car and it is in the way of traffic, call 911.
2. Put your car in neutral and apply the parking brake. Then, the towing company will just have to release the parking brake to load your car.
3. Call a towing company. Before you agree to have them come, ask what they charge and how you will pay. Some companies won't tow you if you don't have the cash to pay upfront while others will let you pay with a credit card later. You should also ask about storage fees in case your car has to stay overnight (or longer).
4. Stay in your car. This is the safest place for you to wait. Lock your door and crack your window if anyone approaches. Chances are good the person is trying to help, but it is best to be cautious. If the weather is bad, you can turn your car on for ten minute intervals to warm it up (as long as your tail pipe is not blocked by snow or ice). If you have to leave your car, put a note on the dashboard or call local law enforcement.
4. Gather all your belongings. Keep a few bags in your car for this purpose. You will need all your papers and anything valuable (like a GPS). You may not get to your car within 24 hours so be thorough. You might as well clean out all the trash, too.
5. Ask for identification. When the tow truck driver comes, ask them to give you some identification through the window, especially if you can't see the truck. Don't get out of the car until you are satisfied. There is a chance another tow truck company will happen by, too, and you want to make sure you get the right company, like AC Towing.
While it is never fun to be stranded, knowing what to do will make the situation much easier for everyone. Good luck!