Illinois Tollway Looks Out for Drivers Stranded in Extreme Heat


The excessive heat and humidity are more than uncomfortable, the combination is dangerous. And not just for people — it can take a toll on your car, too.

Bill Spielman works for the Illinois Tollway, and on extremely hot days, it’s his job to ensure the safety of motorists stranded on the highway.

“Assist patrons, to try to get them off the road as quickly as possible,” said Spielman. “Assist them with a flat tire, out of fuel, maybe an overheat.”

He says there’s a noticeable increase in the number of cars that overheat, or suffer a tire blowout when it’s this hot, and that can often leave people stuck outside. On Friday, a dump truck suffered a blowout as it was headed westbound toward Rockford on I-90. While the driver didn’t need Spielman’s help, he says others often do.

“These temperatures can take a toll, especially when they have small children in the car, or elderly people,” he said. “It’s a good feeling when you’re able to give them assistance and give them a spot to cool down.”

If you do find yourself on the side of the highway with no air conditioning:

“You wanna make sure you’re in a shaded area,” suggests MercyHealth Dr. Anthony Rizzo. “Just, that’s one of the quickest ways to at least try to get your body temperature down and prevent dehydration. If you’ve got water with you, try to conserve that, but use it enough so you’re not passing out or getting dehydrated.”

Dr. Rizzo adds the best way to beat the heat is lots of water.

“If you’re gonna be outdoors for an extended period of time, make sure you have a water bottle with you, it’s always a good thing to have around. You want to drink about four to six glasses of water while you’re outside,” he said.

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