Roadside Assistance: What to do if your accessible van breaks down

Car trouble is always problematic, but it’s even more complicated for people with disabilities. It’s stressful enough finding a tow for your vehicle, and twice as stressful finding accessible transportation to rescue yourself! A member of our SCI email network recently wrote to the group asking for advice on this matter, and fellow members replied with a wealth of practical tips and resources. Here are their recommendations:

– Develop a “buddy system” with a friend (or even a few friends) in your area who have similar transportation needs. Exchange cell numbers and agree to help each other out if you get stuck.

– Get to know your local para-transit companies, and register with them in advance. Explain to them your situation and what might occur down the road. It’s possible they can help you out of a jam without advance notice.

– Check out these accessible roadside assistance services. They operate similarly to AAA and provide comparable vehicle benefits but also include transport for an individual in a wheelchair and emergency assistance for a scooter/power wheelchair should it break down, depending on the plan you choose.
ProtectionWorks™ Roadside Assistance 877-275-4907
ADA Roadside Assistance 800-720-3132

– As a last resort, keep the numbers of  your local medical transportation companies with you at all times. You might have to pay $50 to $100 dollars for an emergency ride. One member totaled their van 20 miles from home, and they were transported in a lift-equipped van with no advance notice. They said their $90 bill was well worth getting off the highway quickly and home safely.

Also, depending on where you live, accessible Uber or Freedom Taxi may be an option. As a person with a disability, it’s important to have a back-up plan (and a back-up plan for that back-up, if possible!) for everything you do. Hopefully, you will never need to use them, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Enjoy the open road!

For more information on Peer Support at Magee, click here.

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