Troopers urge roadside safety ahead of holidays

Troopers urge roadside safety ahead of holidays

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia State Patrol troopers want drivers to be on high alert when changing tires on the side of the road especially with the holiday travel season coming.

What you do seconds after realizing you have a flat tire or any other car problem could ultimately save your life. From locating your spare tire, to finding a safe place to pull over, there are many things you need to know before hitting the road this holiday season.

Making sure your tires are filled with air is not the only thing you need to consider before heading out for the holidays.

"If it can go wrong it will," said Tom Gieryic.

Gieryic's Automotive Repair owner Tom Gieryic lives by that motto.  He says if your tire blows out, don't panic. Turn your hazards on and pull over to a safe place.

"If you think about it, is your life worth the price of a tire?  And it's not," said Gieryic

Georgia State Patrol Corporal Andrew McKenzie agrees.  He says several accidents occur every year where people are struck by oncoming cars while they attempt to change their tires.

"People are not paying attention.  They're not aware, they're not as alert as they should be," said Corporal McKenzie.

With heavy traffic expected as Thanksgiving approaches, Corporal McKenzie says drivers should lookout for those cars parked on the side of the road.

"If you see a vehicle, think of it as an emergency vehicle and slow down if possible and if you can get in another lane, please get in another lane," said Corporal McKenzie.

Corporal McKenzie says if you are able to change your tire, make sure someone is with you to keep an eye on traffic around you. He urges drivers to call for roadside assistance and get as far away from the car as possible.

Gieryic says it's not too early to schedule a check up for your car. Make sure you've located your spare tire, and it has plenty of air, and that you have the tools you need to fix it. Also consider carrying flashlights with you so you are visible if you experience trouble at night.