You’re stuck on the side of the road … now what?

woman on cell phone looking under hood of car

Whether you’re running errands around town or on a cross-country road trip, a broken down car can be scary. But being prepared can help make it a little less stressful.

Here are some tips to remember if you ever have a roadside emergency.

Get off the road
Pull your vehicle as far off the road as possible. Move to the right shoulder all the way to the grass, an off ramp, parking lot or well-lit area if you can. The farther away from moving traffic that you are, the safer you will be.

Make your vehicle visible
Turn on the hazard lights and use warning signals (e.g., flares, hazard triangle) if you have them.

Know your location
If you’re on the highway or in unfamiliar territory, pay attention to your surroundings, such as highway exits, mile markers or cross streets. You can also use your smartphone to find out exactly where you are.

Call for assistance
You can’t always handle roadside emergencies by yourself, so don’t be afraid to call for help – whether it’s a friend, family member or a roadside assistance service. If it’s an emergency, always call 911.

Being prepared is about more than just what to do in the event of a roadside emergency. There are a handful of basic items you should have in your vehicle at all times. You can also purchase a pre-made emergency kit online.

  • Cell phone, charger and extra battery
  • First-aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Warning lights, hazard triangle or flares
  • Jack and lug wrench, foam tire sealant or a portable compressor and plug kit
  • Jumper cables or a portable battery booster
  • Flashlight
  • Blankets
  • Bottled water

You may also want to consider purchasing a roadside assistance plan, which can give you peace of mind knowing help is just a call (or click) away. Horace Mann’s Emergency Road Service coverage provides services like towing, tire change, jump-start, lockout assistance, minor mechanical adjustments, and fuel, oil and water delivery. Contact your Horace Mann representative to learn more.

Horace Mann Insurance Company and its affiliates underwrite Horace Mann auto insurance. You must carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle to qualify for Emergency Road Service. Coverage is subject to policy terms, limits and provisions. Costs of battery, tire(s), fuel or oil are not covered.

Visit the HMConnection page to read more articles.

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