Stranded on a Southern California freeway? Stay in your car!
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 16% of American pedestrian deaths occur on freeways. Many of these deaths occur when a driver is stranded, either because of a minor car crash or because of mechanical problems, and gets out of his vehicle.
Reasons people get stranded on the freeway.
• Running out of gas
• Dead battery
• Flat tire
• Bad weather
• Battery failure
• Mechanical problems
• Fender benders
Getting stranded on the freeway is a horrible situation to be in. Try to avoid it by checking your tires and gas tank before starting your journey.
If you are stranded on a Los Angeles area freeway, what should you do?
1. Do not leave your car and try to walk across the road unless you are absolutely certain that you can make it across without being hit. On most California highways, this just isn’t possible.
2. If you can, move your vehicle to the side of the road and as far from traffic as possible.
3. Activate your hazard lights and pop-up your hood as a sign that something is wrong.
4. Leave your seat belt on in case you are hit.
5. Use your cell phone to call for help. Many vehicles come with free roadside assistance as part of their warranty. You should keep that number in your cell phone. Many cell phone plans also offer roadside assistance for just a few dollars a month. You can also call CHP’s non-emerency number. Call 911 only in a real emergency involving injury, crime or significant damage.
6. In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Caltrans, CHP and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission jointly operate the LACMTA Freeway Service Patrol. This official fleet of tow trucks patrols the busier freeways looking for stranded drivers. They can help you change a tire, jump start your battery or tow you to a safe place.
7. If you absolutely must leave your car, exit on the side away from traffic. Stand to the side of your vehicle, not in front of it or behind it; it may be struck by another vehicle. Try to get as far from traffic as possible and get a behind a barrier if one is available. There are CHP call boxes along the side of the freeway if you need to call for help.
The personal injury attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie, Inc. have helped victims of serious car wrecks and pedestrian accidents in Orange County and throughout Southern California for over 35 years. If you have been injured in accident, you may need legal help. We’ve written a book to help you find a lawyer that’s right for you. Contact our office to request your free copy of Avoid Lawyer Advertising Hype! A Lawyer’s Method for Finding a Lawyer.