The first thing the driver should do is to safely move to the right side of the freeway and pull off onto the shoulder. Try to get as far away from the traffic lanes as possible to assess the situation. If it is not possible to move to the right because of mechanical failure, then try to get into the center divider before coming to a stop. If at all possible, try to not stop in the center of the freeway because most likely, another vehicle may collide into your vehicle.
If your vehicle has mechanical failure and is unable to move, here are some suggestions to obtain help:
- Call for help on your mobile phone
- Wave to on-coming traffic (from a safe location)
- Place a help/assist flag on your radio antenna
- Use a window shade that has “Call for Help” on the reverse side
- Turn on your emergency flashers
- You should never go into traffic lanes to flag down someone for help.
If your vehicle is on fire, move to the right side of the freeway and if at all possible, park the vehicle in a paved or gravel area and not in dry grass. A small vehicle fire could spread into a large wildland fire if you park in a dry grass area. If you have a fire extinguisher, are familiar with its operation, and have confidence to use it in the situation, it may be able it to put out the fire. A Multi-Purpose Dry Chemical or a 5-lb.or larger dry chemical fire extinguisher is a useful appliance to carry in the trunk of the vehicle for small fires. If you are not able to extinguish the fire, immediately move away from the vehicle and try to get help by one of the means mentioned above.
With the abundance of traffic on the freeways, someone will stop to assist or call for the agency that is needed to help you. The main thing is to keep calm, use common sense and wait for help. Your safety and the safety of your passengers is the most important thing to remember in all highway emergencies. For additional information on Road or Highway Safety, contact your local Automobile Club, Department of Motor Vehicles or Police Services.
In addition to freeway safety we must also be aware of some basic fire safety as well. As we all know Albany Hill has a lot of dry brush and trails that cover it, as a result smoking and camping are prohibited on the hill as it is a high fire hazard area. If you are walking the trails please keep an eye out for anything suspicious and if you see something please report it to the Albany Fire Dispatch center at (510) 525-7300.
Please contact the Albany Fire Department Fire Prevention Offices for further information at 510-528-5775.