ATLANTA - Regular maintenance will usually keep your vehicle running efficiently, but the unexpected can happen. Follow these tips should you find yourself with car trouble on Georgia roads.
If you have a flat tire reduce your speed and try to move to the right shoulder. If possible, coast to the nearest exit or well-lit location. Do not attempt to change the tire yourself unless you're able to move away from oncoming traffic and only if the flat is on the opposite side of the vehicle from traffic.
If your vehicle breaks down on the interstate try to move your vehicle to the right shoulder. The right shoulder is normally wider than the left shoulder and traffic travels slower in the right lane. Stay in your vehicle with the doors locked until help arrives.
When unable to move your vehicle to the median Call 511 to request a HERO operator and stay inside your vehicle. Staying inside your vehicle is always safer. Lock your doors, keep your seat belt on and put on your blinkers.
There is no charge for HERO service on metro Atlanta highways. However, the HERO program is not a wrecker service and does not tow vehicles. The bumpers on HERO vehicles can gently push a stalled vehicle to the shoulder. A HERO will then offer you the use of a cell phone to call a wrecker service. When the HERO arrives he or she can use the signs on the top of their vehicle to warn other motorists to slow down or drive cautiously.
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If the incident has resulted in an accident contact local law enforcement and your insurance company. When a traffic accident occurs on a multilane highway or expressway, and if there is no apparent serious injury or death, it is the duty of the drivers to move their vehicles to a safe location along the shoulder or emergency lane. Drivers should only do this if the vehicles are capable of being driven normally, and driving the vehicles will not present any further hazard or harm to the vehicles, to the driver, to people nearby, or to the roadway.
The same rules apply on secondary roads. Although you won't have the option of calling HERO for assistance, you should make every effort to safely move to the right-hand median or a well-lit area until help arrives. Pulling over on a secondary route could be safer since a resident or business may be in the vicinity.
If your vehicle fails at night put on your blinkers, call 511, and most importantly, stay in the vehicle. If possible, move your vehicle slowly to a well-lit area until help arrives.
According to Annalysce Baker, Georgia DOT Metro District spokesperson, the best advice for a motorist who may break down on the road is to, "First make sure vehicles are in good condition. Make sure there is enough gas in your car and your liquids are topped off. Motorists can also make sure their tires are properly inflated to avoid a blow out or a flat tire".
For additional safety guidelines, visit the Department of Driver Services
This article was written from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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