Help on the highway is a call away in the Triad, but only if you’re stuck on one of the busiest stretches.
The Immediate Motorist Assistance Program helps drivers who run out of gas or get flat tires. The goal is to get them out of the way and moving again quickly to prevent crashes and traffic backups.
“IMAP is present where there is the most need,” said Miracle King, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
That puts crews mostly along Interstate 40 and 85 from Burlington to the east and well past Winston-Salem to the west. When I-85 splits, there are IMAP crews through Davidson County as well.
By 1 p.m. on Friday, IMAP drivers like Lawrence Turner were busy stopping for cars pulled off Interstate 40 and responding to calls for help.
In July, they came across 231 abandoned vehicles.
“Stay with your vehicle if you’re not there we can’t help you,” said Turner.
Help can include anything from jump starting a car to pushing it from the roadway. IMAP crews can also make minor repairs to a car to get it moving again. The DOT said they responded to 939 calls for service in July which includes removing debris from the roads and directing traffic after an accident.
Stranded drivers believe having IMAP respond helps other drivers use more caution around their vehicles.
“Everyone moves over when they see the yellow lights of the truck,” said Joe Anderson.
There is limited help for motorists heading north and south across the Piedmont. In Winston-Salem, IMAP crews cover Highway 52 but the help ends at Perch Road on the north and Main Street to the south.
Also, a small stretch of I-73 through Guilford County is covered but the road that leads to Asheboro is not.
Finally, IMAP crews are available heading north out of Greensboro on Highway 29 but only until you get to Summit Avenue.
For help from IMAP crews dial *47 or *HP.