Our Current Blog Articles
April 24, 2018
What to Do After a Car Accident
Being prepared starts with knowing what to do after a car accident. At Bear Creek Towing in Golden, we know that accidents happen and even a minor fender bender can be pretty upsetting. It’s hard to think straight and figure out your next steps to get the help you need for both you and your vehicle.
Today, we’ll focus on those first moments – before our towing professionals arrive and even before the police arrive to assist with the situation.
First, it’s best to have a road safety kit inside of your vehicle at all times. You should include reflective safety triangles, flares, blankets, snacks, and other items that will assist in the event of an accident. Be sure to have your emergency contact list available both on your cell phone and written down inside of your car just in case you need it.
Now, in case the unthinkable happens, follow these guidelines after a car accident:
If at all possible, stay calm. Immediately following an accident, you will feel the effects of adrenaline in your system. It is best to breathe deeply and try to calm down.
If your car can still be driven, pull off to the side of the road. If not, leave it where it is. Next, turn off the engine and turn on the hazard lights. If and when it’s safe – and if you’re not injured – exit the vehicle to start gathering information. Don’t admit fault or assign blame, remain neutral.
If you, your passengers or anyone else involved are experiencing any injuries, call 911 immediately. If you are not hurt, you can assist those who are. Just remember, never relocate an injured person, unless they are in immediate danger (e.g. the vehicle is on fire).
Call the Police
Having a police report is essential when filing an insurance claim. The accident needs to be legally documented, so ask to file a report. After describing the accident to the police on the phone, they may tell you that an officer does not need to be present.
Assess the Situation
If everyone is ok physically, and help is on the way after a car accident, you can start documenting the scene. Take photos of all of the vehicle damage and surroundings if it is safe to do so.
Avoid discussing fault or even saying “I’m sorry” as this can later be used as an admission. With pen and paper or your cell phone record:
- Date, time, and location, nearest mile marker, signs, and exits
- Name, telephone number, email address, mailing address of all vehicle occupants
- License plates
- Insurance company name, contact information, phone number and email, name on the policy, policy number
Call for a Tow
After all these steps, if your vehicle is inoperable, call a local towing company. Depending on your car insurance coverage or roadside assistance policy, you may be towed to the nearest mechanic, your auto shop of choice, or your home. Checking on that ahead of time can save you some money.
File a Claim
Call your auto insurance company as soon as you can. Your insurance agents are there to help you when you need it. Based on your policy, they will direct you in regards to next steps after a car accident.
If you’ve been in a car accident here in Evergreen, Conifer, West Golden or the surrounding mountain areas, please don’t hesitate to give us a call 24/7. One of our towing professionals will be there to assist you during one of the most challenging situation drivers face.
March 30, 2018
Insurance Claims for a Towing Service
Many drivers are in the dark about insurance claims for a towing service. At Bear Creek Towing in Golden, Colorado, we carry out hundreds of roadside assistance and towing services every year. Car insurance often covers these services, but motorists are not always aware of this fact. Check out our guide to making an insurance claim for towing service and see if you could be saving money.
Check Your Insurance Policy
Take the time to read the fine print of your insurance policy and find out what exactly is included. Roadside Assistance may be an optional extra, or it may be included in your standard auto insurance policy. If your insurance covers accidents and collisions, a towing service will almost always be included in the event that your vehicle is not drivable due to an accident.
If in doubt, contact your insurance agent or a company representative. Their job is to help you understand exactly what is included in your policy and to help you use it in times of need. Ask them whether they have certain approved tow companies or if you can choose one on your own. They may require you to contact them immediately to file a claim at the moment of needing a tow, or they may offer reimbursement. It’s better to know ahead of time than when you’re on the side of the road.
Filing a Claim Immediately
Contacting your insurance provider straight away and having them organize a tow truck for you most likely will mean that you don't have to pay money out of pocket. Your insurance company will cover the cost immediately, and there's no waiting for reimbursement. The disadvantage is that your insurance company will choose which tow company to call from their list of approved service providers. The company selected by your insurer may not be the closest or fastest responding of your local options. You may have some extra wait time after filing your claim over the phone, but you shouldn't have to deal with paperwork.
For a faster tow service, you can call a towing company yourself. It is a good idea to have the numbers of local reputable tow companies saved on your phone. You will have to pay for the service yourself and make sure you keep receipts and copies of any paperwork signed. You can then send the receipts to your insurance company and wait for a reimbursement.
Both of these options have their advantages and disadvantages. Remember to check with your provider in advance to confirm your current coverage and the terms and conditions associated with roadside assistance. If your insurance provider includes towing as standard, it would be silly not to take advantage of this in your time of need.
Bear Creek Towing offers 24-hour roadside assistance to drivers in Evergreen, Conifer, Golden and the surrounding mountain areas. We are a fully licensed company and happy to provide all the necessary paperwork needed to facilitate your insurance claims for a towing service. Call us anytime for a fast response.
February 27, 2018
What Not to Do if Your Car Breaks Down
Knowing what not to do if your car breaks down can save you from some tough situations. At Bear Creek Towing in Golden, we respond to calls from distressed motorists every day of the year. Today, we have a few tips for drivers that find themselves on the side of the road in need of assistance. Whether you are a new driver or an experienced one, there’s sure to be something useful here for you.
- Don't block the road with your car. If at all possible, at the first sign of engine failure, try to steer your car towards the shoulder with your remaining momentum. Once it is clear of moving traffic, put it in park, engage the emergency brake and turn your steering wheel so that the wheels of the vehicle point away from the road. This will prevent the car from accidentally rolling into traffic.
- Call for help without delay. Call a roadside assistance service or a reputable towing company in your area. They will be able to transport you and your vehicle to a mechanic safely. Remember, depending on the distance, traffic and weather conditions, you may be waiting a while for them to arrive, so don't delay in making that call.
- Don't confuse other drivers. If your car has broken down, you need to make that clear to other drivers in order to minimize the risk of accidents. Put your hazard lights on and use a warning triangle if you have one. Set it up at least 50 feet behind your car. Lifting the hood of your vehicle will also help make it obvious that you have broken down.
- Don't try to fix the problem yourself, unless you have skills and experience. This is a big what not to do if your car breaks down. If you start fiddling with the engine but have never done it before, you run the risk of turning a small problem into something much bigger and more expensive.
- Don't abandon your vehicle. If your car has broken down on a busy highway, it is best not to get out of your vehicle at all. If you must get out, be extremely careful of passing traffic or exit through the passenger door. Stay with your car as you wait for roadside assistance. When they arrive, they will need you present to get your details and sign paperwork.
- Don't blindly trust anybody offering help. While some passers-by may stop with good intentions to help a fellow motorist in distress, other opportunists will jump at the chance to scam a driver in a vulnerable position. Take the safer option and only accept help from a licensed roadside assistance service that you have called.
Experiencing your first breakdown is no fun, but at least you now know what not to do if your car breaks down. Another good idea is being prepared with the number of a reputable towing service like Bear Creek Towing. We offer professional roadside recovery and assistance services every day of the year. Save our number 303-674-6609 in case of an emergency.
January 15, 2018
If You're Caught Driving in a Whiteout
With extreme weather conditions common in the winter, knowing what to do if you're caught driving in a whiteout is essential. At Bear Creek Towing in Evergreen, we know that all it takes is a mix of heavy snowfall and strong winds to create a sudden whiteout. And we have quite a bit of experience in getting vehicles out of this situation! Today, we offer a few words of advice on how to avoid accidents or being stranded by properly managing a whiteout the smart way.
Prevention is the Best Cure
If at all possible, it is better to avoid driving in conditions that may result in a whiteout. Check the local weather reports regularly. If you see wind and snow forecast together, it's best to put off unnecessary trips. If you absolutely have to drive in severe weather conditions, make sure your vehicle is in good working condition, with all lights functioning and appropriate winter tires or snow chains. It’s one thing to get caught in a whiteout and another to just have your car break down in the midst of one.
Visibility is Everything
If you’re caught driving in a whiteout, you can expect visibility to be as bad as or worse than heavy fog. At times you may only be able to see a few feet in front of your bumper. To give yourself the best chance of seeing potential hazards and being seen by other drivers, keep your windows clear and fully defrosted. Turn on your headlights, and fog lights if they improve visibility. If you’re driving slower than surrounding traffic, or unable to see approaching cars, turn on your hazards to help avoid an accident.
Slow and Steady
If visibility gets suddenly worse, your aim should be to slow down gradually. Keep your movements smooth and try to leave as much extra space as possible between your vehicle and the next. Sudden braking can set your vehicle on an uncontrollable skid that leads to a vehicle accident. Remember, the driver behind you can't see well either, so a sudden stop could get you rear-ended. Patience is vital as everyone will take more time than usual when changing lanes and at traffic lights and junctions.
Driving with restricted visibility will take a lot more mental energy and awareness than a typical drive. Try to eliminate distractions from your passengers, the radio, phones and anything else within the vehicle. You will need to be 100% focused on your surroundings and conscious of the changing limits of your view. You should be continuously scanning the right shoulder of the road for people walking, or cars pulled over, to avoid a collision. When approaching bridges, overpasses or any open, unsheltered stretches of road, be aware that wind conditions may considerably worsen.
If you’re caught driving in a whiteout and conditions are too dangerous to continue, try to pull over as far as possible off the road. Keep your hazard lights on, set up a warning triangle if you have one and stay inside of the car. If the whiteout continues, it's best to call your local towing service or roadside assistance. The team at Bear Creek Towing is ready to assist you 24/7, every day of the year.
December 15, 2017
Choosing the Right Towing Company
Bear Creek Towing understands the importance of choosing the right towing company and offers you a few tips to ensure you’re not scrambling to get help in the event of an accident or breakdown. With a little research, you’ll have the numbers of local towing companies saved on your phone, even written down and tucked away in your glove box. Of course, if you’re in the Evergreen, Conifer, West Golden or the surrounding mountain areas, the Bear Creek Towing crew is here to give you a hand 24/7 and 365.
So, when researching and choosing the right towing company, here are some things to keep in mind.
Know Your Insurance
Some insurance plans cover the cost of towing in the event of a breakdown or traffic accident. Make sure you understand the details of what your auto insurance covers and whether they have any criteria for the towing company. In order to make a claim later, some insurers may have preferred towing services. Remember to keep all receipts and details necessary to make a claim.
Investigate Reputation of Towing Companies
Comparing customer reviews of towing companies on websites such as Yelp and the Better Business Bureau will give you a good idea of the top competitors in your area. Don't be afraid to call each of the companies to ask for their operating hours, their geographic range of service and whether they accept credit cards. This will enable you to make a shortlist of local towing companies that will cater to your specific needs. Reputable companies will also be happy to provide you with their federal Department of Transportation ID, as well as insurance information.
After Calling the Towing Company
If you experience a breakdown or accident on the road and need a towing company, call one that you have already investigated. It is better not to trust any random driver who arrives unannounced with a truck offering to tow your car. They may be unlicensed, uninsured and simply taking advantage of a person in distress in order to make a fast buck.
While waiting for roadside assistance from a towing company, take photos of each side of your vehicle. These may come in useful later if any unexplained damage is done to the car while it’s being towed. While this is a rare occurrence, some less than reputable outfits can be careless with your vehicle.
Once the towing company arrives, make sure to read the paperwork carefully before signing anything. Take a photo of the contract including the agreed payment of services just in case there’s any confusion or differences that might need to be resolved later. Remember to ask any questions that you might have and request a receipt for the payment made. If you’re making a claim with your insurance, you’ll need to provide them with proper towing company paperwork.
Following these guidelines for choosing the right towing company will certainly make life easier if you get stranded or need assistance one day. For drivers in the areas of Evergreen, Conifer and West Golden, the team at Bear Creek Towing are your local reputable towing professionals. We offer damage-free towing and vehicle recovery 24 hours per day, all year long. Give us a call.