Rarely does a driver want to give up and call a tow truck; they don't want to face the expense or the delay of waiting for a towing service, or they may assume that they can get their car to a repair shop or otherwise handle certain needed repairs on their own. Before you assume that you don't need a tow truck, note when it's better to give up and call a professional to have your car towed.
1. When you're stuck
If you're stuck in sand, mud, snow, or anything else, it's good to call a tow truck to haul you out. Trying to bounce your car back and forth can cause damage to the suspension, and spinning your tires to try to force your car out can also cause damage. Trying to push your vehicle out on your own can lead to physical injury! If you or a friend were to slip under spinning tires, this can be very catastrophic. You might also injure your back as you try to push your car.
Rather than go through all this or waste more time trying to solve this problem on your own, call a tow truck. They will typically have winches that hook to your car or can bump it out of the spot safely and easily.
2. When you've been in an accident
After a collision, your car's engine might still run and the tires might still spin, but this doesn't mean your car is safe to drive. The car may have damage to any number of parts that you cannot easily see and this damage may not be readily evident. However, trying to drive your car after you've bent an axle, caused your brake pads to slip out of place, or suffered other such damage can mean increasing your risk of an accident even if you're just trying to get to an auto repair shop.
3. When the tires are damaged
Tires may not seem very important, as your car can usually be driven with a soft tire or even one that is flat. This can be very dangerous as brakes cannot grip a flat or soft tire, and the air in your tires cushions the car against bumps in the road. A soft tire will also pull your car in that direction, and if the tire is bald, the car may simply skid and slide when you turn or brake. Rather than drive with a soft or flat tire, call a tow truck to have your car towed or put the spare tire on the car for you.