Do You Know 511

As you might remember I went back to work part time more than a month ago. Two weeks ago I started working 4 AM to 7.


Wednesday last week while driving home my front driver tire blew out. It happened where two highways merge. Translation, no shoulder. I pulled off to the right, but I was sitting next to an exit only lane, on a curve. Not the best place to change a tire (if I even wanted to do that).


Sitting in my car considering freaking out I decide to call my neighbor. Why my neighbor? Because in September after an unfortunate incident with daddy’s phone and the pool S decided to turn his phone off. To save money.


My generous neighbor got dressed and went to wake up S.


While I was waiting for something to happen I decide to brave the highway and get my jack and spare ready. You can imagine my frustration when I only found 50 % of my jack. No way to pump it up, and no way to get the lug nuts off. Yay!


It was at this point, climbing into my passenger seat, that I noticed all the rush hour traffic on the other side of the highway. It would have taken S over an hour to pack up kids before breakfast, collect a jack, sit in traffic, only to get off the highway and come back the other way.


Cue commercial from my childhood. For real I remember these commercials playing often. A young couple, maybe 18, trying to change a tire on a highway off ramp and an 18 wheeler flys by. The kid gets back in and moves further down the highway. Playing in the background is an older sounding male voice saying, “risk your rim, not your life.”


I decide that is what I will do. A Short distance ahead I find a section of highway that is designed for servicing the overhead signs. Yay new highway!


After hunting through the trunk for a second time I am certain that I can not change my tire without another jack. I am considering the chances of a passerby stopping and having a jack, when there is a voice behind me.


I turn to find a man in a yellow vest telling me that he noticed I have a flat. He asked if I had a spare and I went on explaining about my jack. He informed me that, he has tools, and he is a free service. I got lucky, he saw me from the other side of the highway as he was heading to an accident (the real reason for the traffic on the other side of the highway).


I learned that San Diego has a Freeway Service Patrol. It is Sponsored by Cal Trans, CHP, and SANDAG. They patrol several of San Diego Freeways during busy times and they do things like change a tire, deliver a gallon of gas, jumpstart your car, and fill your radiator with water. The guy was a full service tow truck, so they might offer additional services at a cost, I am not sure.


I do know that you can call 511 and say Roadside Assistance to get their help. Had I known that I would have called, I’m sure help would have arrived at the same time, but I would have been a bit more relaxed. If you call after their roadside assistance hours they offer other options, so your not just stuck. Here is their website for more info.


This is in no way a sponsored post. I have lived in San Diego for 5 years and I didn’t know about this. Actually I never even heard of such a thing. I figured that it might do someone else a bit of good. It might even be possible that there is such a thing in your area, might be worth checking.


Have any crazy break down stories you wanna share? 

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