How to Figure Out if You Need to Tow Your Car

Having an accident can be a frightening experience. There are lots of things to think about in the moment, including the damage to your vehicle. If you’re in a low speed accident in a local car park then there probably isn’t much to worry about. But, if the damage is worse than that, you’ll need to seriously consider whether your car is safe to drive.

Driving a car or motorbike that has been in a crash isn’t just dangerous, it can also be illegal. In this article, we’ll go over how you can figure out if you need to tow your car following an accident.

Man waiting on side of road for tow truck

Assess the Situation

The most important thing to remember is that your safety – and the safety of other people on the road – comes first. If you’ve been in an accident and are injured, shaky or feeling nervous about driving, call a professional breakdown towing service and let them get you home.

But, if you’re feeling confident enough to keep driving, you’ll need to do a quick assessment of your car and the situation. If it’s safe to do so, you can leave your car and check for signs of:

  • Injuries to you and other road users
  • Leaking fluids
  • Damage to body panels
  • Damage to the windscreen
  • Impact damage near any of the car’s wheels
  • Flat or damaged tyres

If the damage isn’t too bad then you can move onto the next step to find out whether your car is safe to drive!

Is the Car Roadworthy?

The major test of whether you should tow your car is its roadworthiness. On Brisbane roads, it’s illegal to drive a car that isn’t roadworthy, and even small car accidents can affect your car’s roadworthiness.

Queensland’s roadworthy test is designed to ensure your car is safe to drive and that it won’t pose a danger to road users. Some of the roadworthy items that can affect whether you need a tow truck include:

  • The exterior lights must be intact and working
  • The condition of your tyres
  • Damage to wheels, brakes and suspension
  • Leaking coolant, oil or fuel of any kind
  • Damage to the windscreen
  • Damage to the body of the car

As you can see, most accidents will make a car unroadworthy. Even a broken headlight is enough to make your car unsafe to drive, in which case you’ll need to tow your car.

Check Your Insurance Terms

We buy car insurance for a reason, but there’s a good chance you’ll void your cover if you attempt to drive your car after an accident. Cars that have been damaged can often be repaired. However, driving them can make things worse, so insurers usually require you to have your car assessed immediately after an accident.

Depending on the insurer you’re with, continuing to drive your car could mean that you receive no compensation for any damage or injuries. If you’re unsure whether your insurance company requires you to have the vehicle towed, give them a quick call and explain your situation. If the accident was little more than a scratch then you’ll probably be allowed to drive the car home. Otherwise, they’ll be happy to send an insurance towing service to meet you.

Test the Car Out

If you’ve looked over your vehicle and found no damage, you can attempt to drive it home. Restart your car and let it idle for a few moments. Pump the brakes and turn the steering wheel to make sure they’re working properly. While you do that, watch the dashboard for any warning lights. Switch the car off and call for a 24 hour tow truck if you do get a warning or check engine light.

If there are no warning lights and the car’s controls are working properly, you can take the car for a low speed test. If the car makes any strange noises, displays warning lights, the steering wheel shudders or if you have difficulty braking, turn the car off and contact a towing company. Remember that cars are designed to crumple in an accident. Even if your car is safe to continue driving, you should still speak to a mechanic and have the car assessed afterwards.

Been in an Accident and Need a Tow Truck? Contact Harvey’s Towing Today!

Being involved in an accident can be unnerving. Worse, even low speed collisions have the potential to make your vehicle unsafe to drive. If you find yourself in a vehicle accident, get in touch with Harvey’s Towing. We work throughout Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich and beyond, and we’re available to help with 24/7 accident towing and heavy haulage towing. It’s always best to have your car towed to a mechanic after an accident, and our drivers can make sure it gets there safely. We also work with most insurance companies in Brisbane. That means you can rely on our team to be there in the moments that count, such as breaking down on a busy road.

You’re welcome to contact us online and book a tow Brisbane wide, or you can phone us on 07 3297 0911 at any time if you need help.