Although many drivers in Virginia may argue this point, evidence continuously points to drivers of this great state being some of the worst in the country. Our experience in roadside recovery in Shenandoah County shows us just how many incidents occur on a given day.
A recent survey by insurance company QuoteWizard in October 2020 placed Virginia as the 2nd worst drivers in the country. This was based on two million insurance quotes for driving incident factors including accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs and other citations like texting and driving.
So how do we fix this? Instead of proposing stricter laws and higher fines as many politician-types may consider, we here at Shenandoah Towing believe in the power of the community. By looking at common traffic accidents and their causes, we can help one another to behave better on the road and make our great state safe again.
Here are the causes of common car accidents in VA and how we can avoid them:
(All statistics given here were based on the Virginian Department of Motor Vehicle report from 2019 which can be seen here.)
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), there were 24,739 speed-related crashes in 2019 which made up about 19.3% of all crashes. This resulted in 13,289 injuries and 349 fatalities; a level of devastation that no speeding-driver could justify.
Why People Speed
The causes of speeding have been studied, and it’s been found that drivers can be split into three categories: compliant drivers, moderate speeders, and excessive speeders. The biggest sign that someone may fit into one of these categories is their personality. Speeders are often people who have thrill-seeking or aggressive tendencies, or those with chaotic lives that struggle to keep up with their routine.
How to Stop People from Speeding
To combat this habit of speeding, it may be best to make clear the personality traits that a person shows, and relate it to their habit of going over the limit. Thrill-seeking individuals can find safer outlets for their desire for excitement with such things as extreme sports or even go-karting.
Those with aggressive tendencies may benefit from an anger management course, or an introduction to a spiritual practice like meditation or yoga. Whereas those with chaotic lives may simply need some help making sense of their daily routine.
Virginians driving distracted caused 23,246 crashes in 2019, which made up around 18.1% of crashes that year. This resulted in 13,258 injuries and 120 deaths; which reflects the very serious nature of becoming distracted while driving.
What Distracts Us
The most commonly thought-of distraction is of course our cellphones. Although the DMV listed “eyes not on road” and “looking at roadside incidents” as more common distractions for 2019.
Driving requires an immense amount of focus, even at its most boring moments, as anything can happen and one should be prepared to react appropriately.
The main reason we become distracted is usually our human nature which wants to make sense of the world around us. By considering the things that may distract us, we can train our minds to focus on the task at hand.
These are some common distractions and how to avoid them:
- Cell Phones – putting your phone on silent while you drive can keep you from checking it every time it rings or beeps. Otherwise safely pull over to check your messages or take that oh-so-important call.
- GPS – as helpful as they are, they can draw our attention from the road, so make sure your GPS is mounted where you can easily see it.
- Applying makeup or grooming of any kind – adjust your sleeping patterns to ensure you have ample time to do this before you drive.
- Adjusting music or other controls – ask your passenger to do this for you, otherwise safely pull over and do it yourself.
- Handling children or pets – make sure you secure them appropriately before driving anywhere.
- Talking to passengers – as natural as it may feel, there are times when it can cause an accident, so communicate clearly to your passengers that you need to focus.
- Not looking at the road – as stated it’s within our nature to be curious, when this happens remind yourself where you are and what you’re doing.
Other Major Causes
Obviously, alcohol and other intoxicating substances play a big role in many traffic accidents these days and the need for roadside recovery. By planning a sober-driver or calling a taxi you can not only save your own life but also the lives of others on the road.
Roadside Recovery Shenandoah County
Sometimes accidents happen for reasons beyond our control, and as scary as they may seem, it’s important to try and be level-headed when these inevitable situations arise. Depending on the nature and severity of the accident, emergency services may need to be called to save a life or apprehend a criminal.
In the event that you have been in an accident and need to move your vehicle, you’ll need to call a towing company.
Here at Shenandoah Towing, we provide towing services, roadside repairs, and of course roadside recovery in Shenandoah County. For our towing service, Woodstock VA is our headquarters. We also service Shenandoah County, Warren County, Frederick County, and Page County as well as both Interstate 66 and Interstate 81.
Write down our name and number on paper and put it in your glove box just in case!
When you get behind the wheel of your car, it’s usually with the assumption that you’ll get from point A to point B without any trouble. But every so often, trouble pops up. Some things, like traffic jams and accidents, you just can’t help. And sometimes your car runs into mechanical issues that you can’t diagnose on your own. Then there are some issues you can fix on your own. While our roadside repair in Woodstock, VA is happy to help drivers no matter their need, we’re here to let you know that there are some car emergencies that aren’t as dire as they seem.
Fixing a flat tire
Whether it’s due to damage sustained on the road or a leaky valve stem, flat tires are one of the most common problems drivers face.
And while dealing with them is stressful — especially in the case of a sudden blowout — fixing them is easier than you might think. All you’ll need is a spare tire, jack and lug wrench, and a brick if possible.
Start by putting your car in park — with the emergency brake engaged — ideally away from traffic and on a level surface. Put the brick behind the tire opposite the one you’re about to replace to prevent the car from rolling.
Once you remove the hubcap, you’ll find the lug nuts. Loosen them slightly with the wrench, but make sure they stay attached to the fire for now. Place the jack under the body of the car in a way that it is against the car without risk of falling. From there, jack up the vehicle and remove the lug nuts.
Replace the old tire with your spare/new tire and tighten the lug nuts. You should do this on alternating sides. If your tire has five lug nuts, tighten them in a star pattern, starting at the top, moving downward on a diagonal, then back up, etc.
After you’ve lowered the jack and the car is on the ground, tighten the lug nuts once more for good measure.
Jumpstarting a battery
You’re at the grocery store, loading bags into your car when a lady parked next to you asks for help jump starting her car. If you know what you’d do next, feel free to skip ahead.
If not, here’s how to restore a dead car battery to life. Jumper cables aren’t something to fool around with. They can be dangerous. Follow the directions on their packaging, or get another driver with more experience lead the way.
Start by making sure both cars are parked facing each other, hood to hood. Keep the jumper cables unbent at all times to prevent shocks.
When you open the hood, you’ll see terminals marked positive (plus sign) and negative (minus sign). Once you know both cars are off, jump the battery with these steps.
- Connect the positive cable to the positive terminal on the dead battery. In most sets of jumper cables, the positive cable is red.
- Connect the other positive cable to the positive terminal on the live battery.
- Connect the negative cable to the negative terminal on the live battery. Negative cables are normally black.
- Connect the other end of the negative/black cable to a metal section under the hood of the car with the dead battery. This metal surface must be unpainted and away from the battery.
From there, let the battery charge for five minutes, then see whether the car will start. If the car doesn’t start, let it charge for a few minutes more and try restarting the car with the dead battery. Assuming the jump was successful, detach the cables in this order:
- The negative cable attached to the unpainted metal section
- The negative cable attached to the live battery
- The positive cable attached to the live battery
- The positive cable attached to the car that was jumped
If neither you or the other driver are sure about this process, don’t hesitate to call your local Woodstock VA roadside repair service. It’s better to admit you don’t know how to do something than put yourself or another driver in danger.
Running out of gas
“I have enough gas to get me home,” you tell yourself before setting out on a long drive down a rural stretch of highway.
As it turns out, you don’t. Miles before your destination, your car starts to sputter and die, the fuel gauge on “E.”
When this happens, here’s what to do:
- Pull over. If your car has stopped and there’s not enough fuel to get you to the side of the road, shift to neutral and — when you know it’s safe to do so — push the car to the side of the road, switching on your hazard lights to let other drivers know you need help.
- Use your smartphone or a good old fashioned map to figure out where you’ve stopped.
- Be sure your phone has a proper charge. You might be waiting a while, so you’ll need a way to communicate.
- Find a local gas station. Failing that, call a towing company or roadside assistance service.
An overheated car
Having your car overheat can be scary. One minute you’re driving along normally, the next your engine is hissing and smoking. When this happens, take control of the situation by:
- Switching on your heater. This might sound funny, but having the heat on pulls warm air away from your engine, easing the pressure on your car’s cooling system. Sometimes this is enough to bring the engine temperature down. You’ll know it’s worked if the warning light shuts off or the temperature gauge returns to its normal position.
- If turning the heater on fails to cool the car after a few minutes of driving, it’s time to pull over and shut off the car. It’s the safest and most effective way to bring the engine temperature down. Call roadside assistance if you have it, or get in touch with your local Woodstock, Virginia roadside repair service.
- If you don’t have access to roadside assistance, be patient. Give your engine at least 15 minutes to cool down. The coolant in an overheated car is EXTREMELY hot. You’re als in danger of burns from hot water or steam.
- Once you’ve given the engine time to cool, add some coolant. Consult your owner’s manual to find your coolant reservoir.
- If the temperature gauge returns to normal, you can proceed with caution. Keep in mind that this is a temporary fix. You’ll need a mechanic to find what caused the car to overheat in the first place.
Roadside Repair in Woodstock, Virginia
We should stress once again that if you don’t feel comfortable addressing any of these DIY car repairs on your own, Shenandoah Towing is here to help.
Our roadside repairs include tire repair and replacement, battery jumpstarts and more. And with our own on-site repair facility, we can serve whatever mechanical issues we aren’t able to address at the site of your breakdown. Contact us today to learn more about our Woodstock VA roadside repair services.
What do you have in your car? Maps? A cell phone charging cord? Maybe a jacket? Far too many drivers neglect stocking their vehicles with the things that can help them — or assist other drivers — in case of an accident or breakdown. It’s something we see all too often as a Shenandoah, VA roadside repair service.
Ask yourself if your car contains the following items:
Avoid Needing a Roadside Repair Service: Things to Address Basic Problems
Any driver who finds themselves stranded on the side of the road will want to have:
- Flares/emergency reflectors
- Jumper cables
- Motor oil (2 quarts)
- Antifreeze (1 gallon)
- Brake fluid
- Extra gas tank
- A small fire extinguisher
- A flashlight
We realize that the advent of the smartphone has made flashlights seem unnecessary, but we’d argue it helps to have one on hand to make minor repairs — like fixing a flat — in the dark. A flashlight will provide you with more light than your phone, and allow you to conserve your battery in case you need to search for Shenandoah, VA roadside repairs.
Tools for Temporary Repairs
Your emergency toolkit should contain things like:
- Adjustable wrench
- Vise grips
- Duct tape
- Small compressor for tire inflation
- Extra fuses
- Pocket knife
- Pressure gauge
We realize that not everyone is a professional mechanic, but even if you’re not sure how to make car repairs, having those tools can help if you run into someone who is a little more mechanically inclined.
Emergency Items for Your Car
You might run into problems on the road that have nothing to do with car repairs. Whether you’re crossing state lines or just commuting to work, you have no way of knowing what you might run into, whether it’s a crash or driver in distress.
Pack an emergency kit that includes:
- Medical tape
- Antiseptic creams
- Latex gloves
- Aspirin/pain relievers
- Instant ice and heat compresses
- Paper towels
Your emergency kit should also include items to help you in case you’re stranded due to extreme weather, an accident, or mechanical failure. Protect yourself while you wait for help to arrive by packing:
- A large bottle of water
- A blanket
- Non-perishable food like granola bars
- Charging cables/battery back-ups for cell phones
Keep all your emergency items and repair supplies together so they’re easy access when you need them. Keep them secure inside your trunk in a box with a lid to prevent tools or other small items from rolling around in the vehicle.
And finally, don’t just pack your emergency kit and forget about it. Take some time to familiarize yourself with everything so know where everything is stored and how to use it in case of an accident or break down.
You might even want to practice things like replacing a flat tire, or reviewing common engine issues that might leave you stranded. Lots of things can happen when we drive, but with the right amount of preparation and the right equipment, you can handle almost anything.
Shenandoah VA Roadside Repair Service
And when you run into a problem you can’t handle, contact Shenandoah Towing. Our Virginia roadside repair service is equipped to deal with problems big and small. When we can’t address your issue on the side of the road, we can take your vehicle to our repair shop to diagnose the trouble. Contact us today to learn more.
What emergency items should you keep in your car? There are some things most drivers tend to keep in our cars, like the owner’s manual or insurance cards.
Items to Keep in Your Car in the Event of a Car Emergency
But what if an emergency happens? Will you be prepared? Even if you have the number for a Shenandoah roadside repair at the ready, there are still a few emergency items to keep in your car.
1 – A first aid kit
A good first aid kit should include several different sizes of band-aids, gauze, antibiotic cream, cotton swabs, allergy medication, hand sanitizer and over-the-counter pain meds. You may also want to include a thermometer, any medication you and your loved ones need, a heating pad and battery-powered radio.
A pair of disposable gloves might also be a good idea, in case you need to treat someone else’s injury.
2 – A flashlight
In a pinch, your cellphone can work as a light source — it may even have its own flashlight. But it’s a good idea to preserve your battery during emergencies.
That’s why you should keep a heavy-duty, waterproof flashlight — and extra-batteries — in the car to light your way during nighttime emergencies.
3 – Water
It could be a jug in the trunk or a case of plastic bottles from the supermarket. Either way, it’s a good idea to keep water in your car. Not only will it prevent dehydration, you can use water for cleaning or to add water to an overheated radiator.
4 – Snacks
Having snacks in your car can keep your stomach from growing as you wait for your Shenandoah roadside repair driver to show up.
But it’s also important to stay nourished in an emergency. Go with food that will keep without refrigeration, such as nuts, granola bars or dried fruit.
5 – Keeping warm
Having warm clothing and blankets in your car can be a literal lifesaver if you’re stranded during cold weather without a functioning heater. It can be one of the most important emergency items to keep in your car. If you live in a place with really cold winters, having a fleece blanket in your car can be invaluable.
6 – A spare tire
Every driver should have a spare tire, and the tools — a jack, wrench or tire iron — to fix it. But if you’ve never changed a tire before and feel uncertain, there’s no shame in calling your local Shenandoah roadside repair service to take care of this problem.
And while we’ve advised against making car repairs on your own when you’ve had a breakdown, it can’t hurt to have some tools with you, along with things like antifreeze, oil and a scraper and shovel for wintry weather.
7 – Flares
We can’t choose where we have to pull over if our car breaks down. We might be able to pull into a well-lit parking lot in a busy suburb, but we could just as easily end up on a winding, narrow-shouldered country road.
That’s why it’s important to let other drivers see you. You should always put your emergency blinkers on, but setting up some flares will go a long way to keeping you and other drivers safe.
8 – Jumper cables
Just like a spare tire, jumper cables are a must-have for your car in case your battery dies. Attach them to the positive and negative battery terminals of another car and you’ll be back on the road.
This is a situation where calling a Shenandoah roadside repair service can help, as we can’t always count on someone to pull over and help.
Car Emergency? Call Shenandoah Roadside Towing & Assistance
An unexpected breakdown can leave us feeling scared and alone, but Shenandoah Towing and Recovery is here to help.
We’ve cultivated a reputation for quick and reliable service, whether you need light towing, vehicle recovery or roadside repair service, with a fleet driven by professional, CDL-certified staff. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
How do you choose the right towing company near me? No one gets through life with a completely uneventful driving record, and accidents are always happening on the road.
Even if we never get pulled over for speeding or ticketed for parking at an expired meter, chances are we’ll find ourselves behind the wheel of a vehicle that breaks down.
And when that happens, we’ll need to find a reliable service to provide towing and recovery.
Shenandoah County residents, ask yourself these questions when searching for a new towing service.
1 – Do they do what I need them to do?
Not every towing company is the same. Some focus solely on recovering and transporting vehicles, while others can provide roadside assistance. As you examine different Shenandoah County towing and recovering companies, check their list of services to make sure they’ll do what you need them to do.
2 – Do they go where I need them to go?
Make sure the towing company you’re interested in has a service area that overlaps with the area where you live/work/do most of your driving.
3 – What will the towing and recovery company charge?
Towing companies should be able to give you an estimate of what it would cost to tow your vehicle to a repair shop — theirs or another mechanic — compared to towing your vehicle back home.
Expecting rock-bottom prices AND great service in one package might be too good to be true, so look for a towing company that meets your budget and has a reputation for good service. And that brings us to the next question…
4 – What do other people say about them?
Nearly every business these days has online reviews. Find out what past customers had to say about the towing companies you’re considering. Take the time to read the reviews to look for specific details that explain how the company came through for their customers (or left them in a lurch).
Shenandoah County Towing Company Near Me
The idea of getting stuck somewhere without a working car can be scary. Fortunately, Shenandoah Towing & Recovery is ready to assist motorists in the Shenandoah County area 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
From sedans to compacts to SUVs to motorcycles, our towing and recovery company offers short and long towing for personal and business vehicles.
Some of our towing services include:
- Light and medium towing
- Winch out (retrieving vehicles and equipment that are stuck)
- Pick and drops
- Automobile and truck roll-overs
- Automobile and truck stabilization
- Broken down vehicles
- Light and medium duty roadside repair
- Water recovery for cars, trucks and equipment
- Off-road recovery
Do you have further questions about towing and recovery? Shenandoah Towing is ready to answer. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
Repairing your own leaky faucet, learning to change your own oil, doing your own taxes. These are all things we are encouraged to learn if we want to save money on basic services. There’s certainly a DIY spirit to all of these things and we would even recommend you to learn them for the sake of it. Many people get the idea that they can translate this DIY spirit to towing vehicles. After all, many people own trucks that have powerful engines that are designed to tow whatever you’ve hitched. Of those things hitched that Ford, Chevy, or Dodge designed for, we can tell you that cars were not one of them!
DIY Towing is Risky and Can Damage Your Other Vehicle
Towing is a service unto itself. There are many different vehicles of different sizes, dimensions, weight, etc. Having the proper equipment to tow all of these different vehicles is part of what makes a Towing and Recovery company like Shenandoah worth their salt. We provide specialized services to help people recover their vehicles from sometimes hard to reach spots. One of the ways that this is facilitated is through using special connectors if required.
If all that was needed was some rope and hitching, then towing companies would not be as in demand as they are. The fact of the matter is, DIY towing is not something people should attempt because it can cause extensive damage to one or both vehicles. I think we’ve all seen a few funny videos online where the entire front or rear bumper gets ripped off when someone attempts to tow something. You probably would not have the same reaction when if it were to happen to you! We also would not want that to happen to you.
Fear of Mishandled Property Makes People Hesitant to Tow
It is strange, some folk would rather attempt to tow their own vehicle and potentially damage both vehicles rather than letting a professional towing company do it. In other words, many people believe that the towing process is sloppy or that precautions are not taken to prevent your vehicle from being dinked, scratched, or otherwise damaged in some way during the recovery process.
A tow company is completely specialized in getting your vehicle to a shop or other location safely and unharmed, so this fear is unfounded. The risk for damage to your vehicle is much, much higher when attempting DIY towing.
Driving While Towing is Completely Different
The requirements vary per state, but driving with a load requires different licensure to establish that you are a qualified and safe driver who is trained in driving with heavy loads. While most cases of a truck towing another small vehicle can fall under regular use of your standard driver’s license, the fact of the matter is that as the load size increases, so too does required certifications.
While you won’t be towing huge loads, it still doesn’t change the fact that driving with a load is completely different than unencumbered. You have to account for less acceleration, greater braking times, and being aware of the extra vehicle length and sway that accompanies towing. Many people are not well-practiced in this and it is a road and safety hazard to attempt it without practice.
Towing and Recovery Shenandoah County
Professional towers know how to hitch a load safely and with little risk of damage, then transport that load safely with a tow truck that is specialized for hitching heavy loads. Most importantly, all of our drivers are highly qualified and have years of experience on the road.
Do you need driving tips for beginners? Being in the towing business, we are offered an in-depth look at how most stalls, accidents, and other unfortunate road situations come to be. There are some basic tips and suggestions that can be put into practice to avoid many of these things from coming to be. While Shenandoah Towing is always here for our community, our foremost concern is that we do our part in reminding people to stay safe out on the road. It is always a tragedy when bad weather or poor driving habits result in injury or, god forbid, mortality.
Driving Tips for Beginners
Rain, snow, hail, besides being annoying obstacles in getting from point A to B as a beginner driver. These common environmental conditions are the cause of many accidents on the road. The advice that eludes all of us is always “common sense”, these tips are something everyone could always keep in mind to have greater road awareness and safety. Here are your driving tips for bad weather.
1 – Evaluate the Safety of Your Vehicle
Routine maintenance is like going to the doctor, nobody likes doing it but frequent visits can save you a lot of money—or even save your life in the long run. The most important, for this example of bad weather driving, is making sure your tires are good, that they still have adequate tread to grip the road. Getting tires rotated every few months can help your car keep an even keel and grip on the road, as well as extend the usability of all 4 tires for longer.
2 – Don’t Rush When Driving in Bad Weather
We never recommend driving frantically at any time, but especially a bad decision in poor weather. Visibility is worse when it is raining, causing you to flat out miss vehicles on the road. You can’t count on everyone turning their lights on as they should, so driving defensively is always the superior option.
We lead busy lives and many people get caught up in the hustle and bustle. If it is raining and you have to get somewhere, just accept that it will delay you. Your safety is much more important than arriving a few minutes earlier to your destination, no matter how important.
3 – Keep Adequate Space Between All Vehicles
Rain causes everything to be delayed. During highway driving, just a second or two is the difference between safety and impact. Keeping extra space in front of you can give you the extra braking time you may need if the person ahead suddenly brakes. Vehicles in heavy rain or snow may drift from hydroplaning or skidding on ice, or simply from a loss of visibility. Putting distance to keep yourself safe from this swaying is critical.
4 – Don’t Be Afraid to Pull Over When Driving in Bad Weather
If the weather is too bad and there is poor visibility or you have concerns about traction, it might be best to pull over and reassess the situation. This is especially important when it is raining so hard that you can hardly see in front of you. Rain is very unpredictable, and it might be worth pulling over for 10 minutes or so to see if it lets up or to get your bearings.
Shenandoah County Recovery Towing
At Shenandoah Towing in Shenandoah County we provide a range of towing and recovery services such as light and medium-duty towing, heavy-duty towing, equipment hauling, roadside repair, transport services, and more.
Contact us today if you have any questions about our rates or service options. We’d love to help in any way that we can.
What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down?! No matter where you live so long as there are roads to drive your vehicle on there will be breakdowns. No one wants to be in a situation where your car has quit out on your in the middle of your commute. Whether you’re on your way to or from work, running an errand, or going to an event, a breakdown can happen at any time, and thats when you need roadside assistance in Shenandoah County.
What Do I Do When My Car Breaks Down?
Modern cars have truly come a long way since even 15 years ago, most brands sport reliable sedans that can comfortably get you from A to B and back without a hitch. As a result, more and more adults aren’t used to dealing with car troubles as prior generations may have been. This article is aimed at supplying a few simple guidelines for what to do when your car breaks down.
Step 1 – Turn on Hazard Lights and Get the Vehicle Off of The Road ASAP
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many new or young drivers freeze in panic and are unsure of what to do. No one talks about it, but it’s a strange experience to step outside of the car after your vehicle has stopped on a major road. You’re used to whizzing by these roads from one perspective, but now you’re on foot as other cars zip by you.
However, understand that if it can be helped, getting the car off of the road is best for your safety and the safety of other drivers. The obvious exception would be if you have stalled out in the middle of a busy highway or other thoroughfare and have no means to help push the car such as another passenger.
Step 2 – When Your Car Breaks Down, Call a Trustworthy Towing Company
Who would that be? Well, of course, it’s yours truly, Shenandoah Towing! If you are ever experiencing car troubles and are in need of towing services in the following towns/counties in Virginia on our services page, we are more than happy to get the job done.
A towing company is not just someone you call to bring a truck over and haul your dead vehicle away. A good towing company can ease your concerns by keeping you informed every step of the way.
Step 3 – Do Not Try and Fix Your Issue When Your Car Breaks Down
If you are a mechanic then disregard this point. However, for most people trying to solve the problem on the road is not a good course of action. If you are on the highway, it is especially not wise to pop the hood and focus on the car when there is high-speed traffic coming by. You should always focus on your safety first. In the vast majority of cases, the issue that caused the break down is not solvable without diagnosing and servicing at a garage.
Call Our Roadside Assistance Team in Shenandoah County | Shenandoah Towing
There’s no worse feeling than being stuck on the road and waiting for help. Shenandoah Towing and Recovery has made a name for ourselves through our speedy response and dependable service. Whether you require light towing, vehicle recovery, or heavy-duty equipment hauling and towing, Shenandoah Towing can do it all.
Our constantly expanding fleet consists of plenty of vehicles that are driven by our professional staff who are CDL certified. It is for these reasons that when an accident happens or a person is stranded after their car breaks down, we are often one of the first to get the call—and we’re also the first on-site.