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Stranded On Highway Yet Safe

No matter how adept you may be at changing a tire, if you are stuck in the road, your life may be in danger.

American Red Cross safety expert Russell Hubbard shares how to stay safe on the road with CBS News This Morning Field Anchor Jose Diaz-Balart.

Lauren Dunn, Lauren Interess and Jody Wilson were three 23-year-olds returning from a scuba diving trip.

They were on a Long Beach, Calif., highway when they got a flat tire, which the women tried to fix. But all three were killed when a Camaro careened into them.

Nearly 3,000 people are killed each year in roadside accidents. The American Red Cross and Shell Oil Co. have teamed up to warn people and give tips on the dangers in an advertising campaign called "Count on Shell."

"What you primarily want to be concerned with is your life not your car," Hubbard says.

The following are some of the campaign's tips:

1. If you have a flat tire in an unsafe area or busy roadway, don't try to change the tire there. Keep driving or wait for help. It's better to drive on a flat tire than risk your life.

"You can pop the hood and the trunk as another mechanism for letting people know that you're in distress. But you need to do that only if it's safe and you can lift them properly," Hubbard notes.
2. If your car breaks down in extreme heat, keep your windows cracked open a bit and drink plenty of water. Always stay in the car while waiting for help, unless there's a threat of fire or ventilation problems.

"If you don't feel safe, you use a 'Call Police' sign and use your cell phone to call for help," he suggests.
3. Always keep the following in the car: a bright cloth to signal for help, a poncho in case of rain, a flashlight, flares or reflectors, jumper cables, food items, bottled drinking water, blankets, an empty gas container and a first aid kit.

To use a flare, strike it away from your body and hold it away from yourself, explains Hubbard.

"The first one should go 300 feet behind the car," he says. "You'll want to use however many are visible from the road," he adds.

The American Red Cross offers a first aid kit for $20 to $30. "It gives all the instructions you'll need in a minor emergency and all the toolsÂ…like how to stop severe bleeding. It will have gloves, blankets, for shock, [items] for small cuts and scrapes," he says.

A new monitoring system called SmarTire can prevent an accident in the first place, Hbbard says. SmarTire includes tiny sensor devices, strapped to car wheels, that send a radio signal to a dashboard-mounted receiver.

The sensors enable the driver to keep up-to-date on pressure and temperature. This may help stave off major problems by detecting some early indicators, he explains.

The car's dashboard has an alert light, warning buzzer and an information screen, and controls for choosing different tire monitoring options, Hubbard adds.

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