Car concerns: What to do if you must pull over to the side of the road

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CLEVELAND- There is nothing worse than driving home from work and running into car trouble, but what should you do to protect yourself if you have to pull off to the side of the road?

The Ohio State Highway Patrol urges drivers to prepare now in case you have an emergency later.

“Always have an emergency kit ready– blankets, coats, flares, reflective material– there is something, keep it in your trunk, always make sure you have something like that,” said Sgt. John Thorne of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Thorne urges drivers to move their disabled vehicle to a safe location.  If you get stuck in the middle of the highway, don’t stay inside the car.

“If it’s possible for you to get out of your vehicle, be around a guard rail, be behind a concrete wall that might be a better option than sitting there,” Sgt. Thorne said.

Once you’re in a safe place, call for help; when in doubt, call the Highway Patrol.

“It’s our ultimate goal that if we can get you on the road then great, if not then we’re going to get you to someplace that is safe,” said Sgt. Thorne.

Earlier this week a woman was killed along I-490 at the I-71 split while trying to put air in her tire.

If you do become disabled and you must exit your vehicle, the most important rule to remember, never turn your back to oncoming traffic.

“If they get out of their vehicle, get on the opposite traffic side, typically the right side, if you can remain in your vehicle, help will approach you, we encourage that with your seatbelt on,” said Scott Harrison of Freeway Service Patrol.

Freeway Service Patrol has five crews who work daily each covering approximately a 40-mile stretch of highway throughout the day, just waiting to offer a helping hand.

“I would recommend each time a motorist gets an oil change to have their spare tire properly inflated, in case we don’t show up on scene and they change it themselves and it’s flat it is not going to do them any good,” Harrison said.

The presence alone of the Safety Patrol can be a sigh of relief in a time of frustration.

“I think that’s fantastic, in a minute I didn’t think I was going to be able to get into my car because I had locked the doors, but I was able to open up the back, so I think it’s fantastic,” said motorist, Nelson Quintana.

Remember it is state law to move over or slow down if you see an emergency vehicle pulled over to the side of the road with their emergency lights on. You could be ticketed if you don’t.

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