Technology has become intertwined with nearly every aspect of our lives.
From our homes to our phones to our cars, everything is becoming more and more reliant on electronics, smart tech, and the internet.
As a result, older methods of communication — like highway call boxes — are slowly being phased out, which can affect how we get help in an emergency.
The dawn of the cell phone has driven roadside crisis response forward dramatically, but given 911’s limitations, it might be time to update your emergency plan.
Keep reading as we explore how roadside assistance has changed over the years, and how you can adapt your plan to get help faster than using 911.
Highway Call Boxes Are Well On Their Way Out
They’re few and far between these days, but you still may be able to spot one from time to time.
Highway call boxes used to be a staple for drivers experiencing a roadside emergency.
If you blew a tire, got into an accident, or had some other form of car trouble, you could usually find a call box every mile along the highway.
It may have been a bit of a trek, but before everyone had a cell phone, it was often the only way to get help.
Now, as you can probably imagine, highway call boxes don’t get much love anymore. We all have our own portable call boxes that we carry with us everywhere we go.
In fact, several counties in California have already begun removing them due to lack of use.
Soon, they’ll be completely obsolete, and we’ll rely solely on our phones and built-in vehicle emergency features…
But as we’ll find out below, those aren’t quite as reliable as we like to think either.
The 3G Sunset & Automatic Crash Notification
As we covered in a previous article, the 3G Sunset is rendering many vehicle emergency response systems useless.
Almost every car brand has certain models affected by the shutdown, and several of them aren’t rolling out updates to fix the issue.
This means that many car owners are left without crucial emergency features such as automatic crash notification, emergency call functions, enhanced roadside assistance, stolen vehicle locators, and more.
Brands like BMW and Acura have come up with solutions for some of their models…
But for many people, buying a new vehicle is the only way to regain access to these features.
The Limitations of the 911 System
Although they’re all but obsolete now, highway call boxes had one advantage that set them apart from the 911 system.
When you request help from a call box, the authorities know exactly where you are. Each box is associated with a specific mile marker, so there’s no confusion about your location.
If you call 911 during a roadside emergency, their technology can only triangulate your location within three hundred yards at best.
And if you’re in an area with fewer cell towers, it’ll be even harder for them to determine where you are.
This lack of information can drastically affect emergency response times, costing precious seconds, minutes, and even lives.
Not to mention, when you’re unsure where you are, the last thing you want to worry about is trying to explain your surroundings to a 911 operator.
But the good news is, with the right tool, you’ll never have to…
GPS-Based Dispatch at Your Fingertips, 24/7
Emergencies are often some of the most stressful situations of our lives. It can take everything in our power to keep our composure.
Add to that being stranded on the highway, unsure of where you are, and the pressure can quickly become overwhelming.
On top of all this, having to talk to a 911 dispatcher can not only slow things down, but also add to the stress of the situation.
Luckily, however, there’s a way to instantly notify first responders of your exact location (anywhere in the United States) without saying a single word.
With this tool, you can dispatch help in just two taps on your smartphone.
It’s called the Rescu app, and it’s powered by state-of-the-art GPS technology.
The Fastest Way to Get Help in an Emergency
Rescu is a personal emergency response app that you can carry wherever you go.
In a roadside emergency, you can request help in just two simple steps. Once you open up the app, all you have to do is:
- Select the service you need — fire, police, or ambulance
- Tap Send Alert
The app will determine your location and communicate it to Rescu’s private monitoring center, which will immediately dispatch responders to you.
No phone call necessary.
If you like, you can reach out to a Rescu dispatcher after sending an alert — either through the app’s two-way chat feature or by phone. But if not, you don’t have to talk to anyone.
Just send the alert, and let us do the rest.
This system makes Rescu the fastest, most reliable, and hassle-free way to get help in an emergency…
Especially during roadside accidents, where there’s often an extra layer of uncertainty and confusion.
Update your vehicle emergency plan for just $10 a month with the Rescu app, and give yourself the gift of peace of mind — wherever your travels take you.