Transportation

Viral photo out of Bay Area shows how not to deal with a flat tire on a bridge

We all should know how to safely change a tire along the road (right, licensed drivers?) but what happens if you pop a flat on a busy bridge?

There are a few different options to get your vehicle to safety. None of them involve getting out to work on your car, on a bridge, with no shoulder lane.

In a textbook example of what-not-to-do, a photo posted to the San Francisco page on Reddit late last month went viral. In it, three people are seen changing a tire while simply stopped in the far right lane of the Bay Bridge, barely pulled over to the side. The sedan’s trunk is wide open, and it’s unclear whether the car’s hazard lights are even in use.

This is, perhaps obviously, illegal.

Scores of users commented in bewilderment at the dangerous feat. Some simply expressed outrage, but others chimed in with advice and/or horror stories. Indeed, drivers can face fatal risks if they exit their vehicle amid a busy roadway or bridge.

The appropriate options in a bridge breakdown, according to AAA, are to either travel slowly (if safe) until a legal spot to pull over is found, or to bring the vehicle to a stop as far away from the flow of traffic as possible and wait for a tow truck.

One Reddit user pointed out that California Highway Patrol will assist in towing stalled cars off the Bay Bridge. This service can be reached at 800-835-5247 (TELL-CHP). SFGate reports that an auto accident on the Bay Bridge can also often necessitate a 911 call.

Drivers and passengers should exit the vehicle only if they feel that remaining in it would be dangerous. If you do leave the car, get to a safe place – don’t try to change that flat.

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