SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Car trouble is always frustrating, but when your vehicle breaks down on the freeway it also can become a major safety issue.
According to the California Highway Patrol, here are some tips that may keep you and your passengers safe if your car breaks down while on the road.
The CHP says to do the following if your vehicle stops on the freeway:
- Safely pull to the right shoulder
- If you must exit the vehicle, exit on the right side of your vehicle, away from traffic
- Once you arrange for assistance, return to your vehicle, get back into the vehicle from the right side (away from traffic), and put on your seat belt
- Stay inside your vehicle with the seat belt on until help arrives
There could be situations where there isn’t enough space in the shoulder if the lane is next to a guardrail. For these circumstances, the CHP said to exit your vehicle and stay away from it and use your emergency blinking lights depending on weather conditions.
“Use your emergency blinking lights at your discretion according to weather conditions. The lights may be helpful, but they could also attract drunk drivers,” the Department of Motor Vehicle handbook online handbook reads.
There’s also the Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) that provides free emergency roadside services during commute periods. You can get a hold of the FSP by calling 511 from your cell phone or freeway call box.
The CHP also has a non-emergency number that can be contacted at 1-800-TELL-CHP. That number is used for services such as accident reports, tow questions, CHP office locations, vehicle theft tips, and community outreach programs.
According to the DMV online handbook, the FSP will do the following if you get stuck on the freeway:
- Offer you a gallon of gas if you run out
- “Jump start” your vehicle if the battery is dead
- Refill your radiator and tape hoses
- Change a flat tire
The FSP will also report any collision to CHP, however, they won’t do the following:
- Tow your vehicle to a private repair service or residence
- Recommend tow service companies or repair and body shops
- Tow motorcycles
- Assist vehicles that have been involved in a collision unless directed by the CHP