Highway emergency telephone numbers

Via the RGJ ‘data’ page is the Dispatch Magazine Highway Notification Numbers map. There are numbers for emergencies, for roadside assistance, and for travel information.

Although 911 has been designated as the “official” number for reporting emergencies in the United States, many other numbers have been implemented for reporting highway situations: accidents, intoxicated drivers (DUIs), or disabled vehicles. In most cases, dialing these special numbers routes the call to the agency with jurisdiction over the state highways or Interstates, rather than to the local law enforcement agency.

This map shows alternate telephone numbers established by the states to reach a state-level law enforcement agency to report highway situations, some of which could be considered “urgent.” These numbers were generally established before the wide implementation of the 9-1-1 emergency number. The numbers also are routed to various types of agencies, some of which may not be first responders—police, fire or EMS—but rather highway departments.

You’ll often see roadside signs that tell you the emergency number to call when entering some jurisdictions. This map can help you figure out a possible number if you don’t see such signs. It also highlights just how confusing it can be trying to figure out what to dial for help while on the road. Many insurance companies as well as Coachnet and AAA provide and some vehicle warranties provide roadside assistance. You need to be aware of the services provided by those you have available to you and the numbers, both telephone and account or member, that you will need to know to obtain assistance.

It is generally considered to be an emergency when life, limb, or property is endangered. Roadside assistance is needed for when you are disabled but able to get off the road and out of the way of traffic. Travel information is needed to learn about construction ahead or road controls from storms.

The FHA has a traveler Information Telephone Number – 511 and a deployment map with additional information on the WWW. For some states, Safe Travel USA provides the traveler information.

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