Octa's transportation blog

Why Do Cars Pull Over on the Freeway?

Drivers in Orange County are assisted by the Freeway Service Patrol, a service funded by OC Go (formerly Measure M) that removes stranded vehicles from the freeway to minimize congestion.

Last fiscal year, the Freeway Service Patrol assisted travelers 54,136 times. Here’s a breakdown of some of the reasons cars wind up on the side of the road:

  • 27 percent, vehicles towed off of freeway
  • 25 percent, flat tires (changed, if possible)
  • 17 percent, no gas (got a gallon)
  • 16 percent, motorists stopped to make a phone call, get directions or for some other reason not related to vehicle health
  • 4 percent, no drivers, so vehicles tagged so the California Highway Patrol knows their status
  • 4 percent, overheated (received water)
  • 4 percent, minor mechanical issues that could be quickly fixed such as a hose needing tape
  • 3 percent, vehicles needing jump-start

Unless making unlawful, non-emergency stops, motorists’ only penalty is getting stuck in a lousy spot. The Freeway Service Patrol does not charge motorists for its help. Learn more about the Freeway Service Patrol here.

Sign up & stay
transportation savvy
Your top resource for:
  • Key News
  • Promotions
  • Events
  • Rideshare & Active
  • Freeway Alerts
  • Transit Info
Browse Topic