A Perth woman had the unfortunate experience of breaking down on a detour route that was in place because of bush fires. While she was not in any danger, it does raise the question of whether you would know what to do if your car broke down while you were evacuating from bushfire danger. Australia has had bushfires that have burned thousands of hectares at a time, so it is important you know how to deal with all aspects of bushfire danger, including evacuations.
Stay With Your Car
While your panic levels may be telling you to abandon the car and run when it breaks down during an evacuation, this is not a wise decision. Your car can provide you with protection from flying embers, ambient heat, and suffocating smoke that may be in the area.
Instead, use your cell phone to call for help. If you are in immediate danger, you should call 000. If you are not, call your state's roadside assistance. If you are not currently a member, you can sign up over the phone, and they will arrange for a towing service for you.
Alert Other Drivers Of Your Breakdown
While the perfect option is to wait with your car until help arrives, an approaching bushfire may not make this an appropriate choice. In this event, you will need the help of another driver to escape from the area. You can alert approaching drivers of your need for help in a number of different ways:
If another vehicle does stop to collect you, leave a note on the dashboard of your car regarding who you are leaving with and how to contact you. Additionally, let the towing company know you have left the vehicle. You do not want to put their driver's life in danger if it is not safe to enter the area.
While the first choice is to stay with your car until it can be towed away, if it is not safe to do so, then you need to leave it behind and hope the flames don't get too close. While losing your car in a bushfire would be saddening, it is far better to lose an object than it is to put your own life in danger.
Hi there! Brenton here. I'm a bit of an adventurer and I've actually driven around Australia three times. From the Nullarbor Plains to the Gulf, I have driven on some seriously bad roads. After my first trip, I learnt that despite my bush mechanic skills, I can't always fix vehicles. I've become quite an amateur expert on how to avoid breakdowns as well as the best towing services to access when all else fails. I have lots of other mates who like going off the beaten track and I'm always giving them tips in case they need to be towed for assistance. Australia is a vast country with lots of isolated patches, so it's best to be prepared. I hope this blog gives you an insight into the best towing services and shows you how they can be a lifesaver in desperate circumstances. Please drive in!