You hope it never happens to you but when it does, it's strange how it's always at the worst time. Have you ever noticed car troubles always seem to arise when you're in a hurry to get somewhere or it's cold and dark outside? You can never seem to have car issues on a nice 72-degree day, when it's comfortable outside, at 12:03 pm when you know you'll be able to find help.

Don't get me wrong, car troubles at any time are a pain in the you know what. It's just interesting to me that they always seem to happen to me at the worst time.

I can't promise you that you won't have car troubles if you're putting some extra miles on your vehicle as you travel around for the holidays...but I'd be willing to bet that if you are stranded and need help, this Iowa DOT service will help if they can.

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Unsplash - Nikola Markelov
Unsplash - Nikola Markelov

Iowa DOT Highway Helper Program

If you break down on the side of the road and need help, the Iowa Department of Transportation has the Highway Helper program!

The program will provide free assistance to stranded motorists if you are on any of the roadways in Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and the Quad Cities. According to the Iowa DOT,

The focus of the Highway Helper program is to provide travelers and emergency responders with a safe and efficient transportation system. The Highway Helper services can quickly address the needs of stranded motorists by providing; jump starts, tire changes, up to two gallons of fuel, and transportation to a safe location. In addition, each truck is equipped to provide traffic control and quick clearance for emergency responders.

Being stranded on the side of the road can be a complete nightmare but thankfully, there are many areas in the state of Iowa where you could receive free help if you need it. All you need to do if you need help is call 911 and report your emergency. A dispatcher will help you the best they can.

I know the program doesn't cover the entire state of Iowa but knowing that you could potentially receive free help, depending on where you're stranded, is a massive confidence booster. Especially if you have an older car and you worry about driving long distances in Iowa.

According to the Iowa DOT, the "Highway Helping" trucks patrol the freeway and interstate systems. They are dispatched to other Iowa DOT roadways in Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and Quad Cities metro areas from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. In Des Moines, they patrol from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

Hopefully, you will never need to call the Highway Helper program. It's nice to know there is help available, if you need it, free of charge.

Safe travels this holiday season.

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