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Auto Insurance Information Center

August 2011

When Bad things Happen To Good People - Roadside Assistance You Can Use

Driving is such a part of most of our lives that we take it for granted: your car will always start (and stop) when you want it to, it'll provide safe travel and overall be there when needed. Until one day it doesn't.

Roadside Assistance You Can Use

You're thinking, "C'mon, not now… Why did this happen to me?" We can't address every car-related calamity, but we can provide some helpful tips to assist you should you end up in one of the following situations while on the road, whether you're driving to work in Pennsylvania or cruising down the coastline in California.

A tire blows

You're on your way to the gym, singing along with the radio, and then BANG, it happens. Your tire just blew out - what do you do? First, do not slam on your brakes. Instead, gradually release the accelerator and correct your steering to maintain control of the vehicle. Once stabilized, continue to slow down and pull off to the side of the road in a safe area to change the flat tire.

Your engine overheats

If you suddenly see steam coming out from underneath the hood of your car, pull over to the side of the road as soon as it is safe. Turn up the heat in your car as high as it will go to help dissipate the heat from the engine. Once the steam has stopped coming out from underneath the hood, open it up. Be careful when doing this, as many parts can be extremely hot in an overheated engine. Locate the antifreeze reservoir and add about a cup of water. If there is no room to add liquid, then you may have a problem with a leak in one of your hoses. Note, this is just a short-term fix, and you should take your vehicle to a mechanic to get it checked out to be sure.

You hit an animal with your car

It's one of the most unnerving things that can happen when driving: you hit an animal. If such a situation arises there are a number of steps you can take. First, if your car is damaged, pull off to the side of the road (if the car is drivable), stay in the car and wait for assistance to arrive. If the animal remains on the highway after you strike it, call 911 to report the incident to a local law enforcement agency.

Finally, if you think the animal may still be alive, do not go near it. While it is an unfortunate situation, by following these steps, you can potentially minimize the danger of the incident.

Unintended acceleration

Should your vehicle suddenly accelerate unexpectedly, remain calm and brake firmly, without pumping. Shift the car into neutral, but avoid turning off the vehicle, as it will diminish the steering and braking capabilities of the vehicle. As the car slows steer to a safe spot and slow to a stop. Shut off the engine while still in neutral. Finally, shift into park and set the emergency brake. After the vehicle is secured, call for assistance.

A low cost way to stay safe

In addition to following the recommendations above for the situations described, drivers can also stay safe with the right car insurance. 21st Century Insurance can help by providing online, low cost insurance quotes. Once you become a 21st Century customer you are automatically enrolled in our Roadside Assistance program, which provides assistance 24/7 at no additional cost to you for each car you insure with us. Visit the site now to check out the various coverage options and to receive your free quote today.

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