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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Heroes of the highway: What Iowa's Highway Helpers want you to know heading into winter

Need a gallon of gas? Change of tire? Highway Helpers are here to help you out on the road.

IOWA, USA — Iowa's Highway Helper program continues to help travelers even amidst a global pandemic, and they want you to know a few things as winter settles in.

"Our goal is to get people to their destination safely, and if we can get someone off the side of the road, it provides a safe environment for the traveling public and that individual," said Bonnie Castio, manager of the Iowa Department of Transportation's Highway Helper program.

If you're stranded on the road, Highway Helpers can help you get a few gallons of gas, change a tire, jump start your car, perform minor mechanical repairs and transport you to a safe location if your car doesn't start.

The program is free and provides services to drivers in the following areas:

  • Des Moines
  • Council Bluffs
  • Cedar Rapids
  • Iowa City
  • Davenport

Helpers are on the road Monday-Friday from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. assisting travelers. All you have to do is call 911 and request the service as needed. 

The program averages 2,400-2,600 assists each month in the state.

If you find yourself needing assistance, make sure your car is pulled as far off the roadway as possible. Stay in the car, give the helper some space and wear a mask to protect yourself and the helper.

If you come across a helper assisting another traveler, slow down and move over to prevent any accidents. 

Tips to prep your car for the winter from Meteorologist Brandon Lawrence: