Ep. 19: What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down

So before we dive into today’s episode I want to remind everyone that we are still donating $1 to CarelinkAR for every new episode we receive! So head over to iTunes or wherever you catch our podcast and leave us a review! We can’t wait to donate to this amazing company that helps to take care of seniors’ needs all around Arkansas! 

Alright, so I’ve got a super informational episode for you guys today and one that I feel like we could all benefit from. Men, women, young or old, we all find ourselves in our cars, well most likely every single day, right? So I wanted to do an episode on auto safety! Specifically what to do if your car breaks down in a desolate area and you’re scared to…well death. But hopefully not quite that far! I have thought so many times when I’m out and about driving somewhere at night (which actually isn’t that frequent because you guys already know–Im a total grandma and am usually home in bed by 8:30ish! No night driving for this girl.) But I’ve thought what on earth would I do if I ran out of gas or what if a belt or something snapped inside of my car and my car just stalled right here on the road. It would be a total nightmare! The worst part is that I’ve heard horror stories of women being stranded in the middle of nowhere because their car broke down and they’re waiting for someone to come help and a scary stranger comes up pretending to help and actually ends up not being a good guy at all! Have you guys ever had any experiences with this type of thing or have you heard stories like that yourselves? I know I can’t be the only one that’s heard of things like that happening. 

Okay so we know it happens and we quite frankly can’t predict the future so that car problem you’ve been putting off, may need some reconsideration after this episode because fingers crossed you won’t find yourself ever stranded without immediate help to get you to where you need to go safe and sound. 

So if you’re ever out along driving and something DOES happen to your car–Immediately call for help. This is a given because I know myself well enough that there is no way I’m getting out of my car to do anything to my car. I don’t know a single thing about fixing it so why would I get out? Did you guys know you can call the police for roadside assistance too? I didn’t know that was a thing but apparently, you can call them and they’ll come help you out! Obviously, they’re not mechanics by any means but what they can do is sometimes they can change your tire–if that’s the case which is super kind. But they can also help block your car off for safety so that you’re not in danger of being hit and their blue lights will keep other drivers aware of your stalled vehicle on the side of the road! If you don’t call the police, obviously call the person closest to you and get them to come help you and in any other scenario if there’s no one else to come help, call your insurance company or AAA if you have it! They’re all there to help out in these types of situations so reach out when you’re in need. 

Next tip, hopefully someone is in route to come help save you from this stalled car situation of a nightmare. Now, what some people advice to do is to get those little orange signs or cones from your trunk and place them behind your car to let other people see you’re on the side. But, again this goes against my rule because i am NOT getting out of my car if it has died on the road. It’s just not happening. So, if you’re like me and 1 you don’t have those little orange things in your car, and 2 you’re not getting out–put your hazard lights on! Those are super simple indicators on your car to let other drivers know you’re currently out of order. 

Another reason you want to stay inside your vehicle and with it until someone comes to help you, is that statistics show that about 4,000 pedestrians are killed on foot each year. This obviously is terrifying when cars are driving past you on the highway at around 60 or 70 miles per hour. 

Next tip, while you’re waiting on help to arrive, should someone come up to your car do NOT and I repeat do NOT unroll your window or open your door to chitchat with said stranger. They could be grandpa joe from the little grocery store up the corner who has lived here for 50 years, but that DOES NOT MATTER, friends! You can politely unroll your window about an inch and let them know someone is headed your way for help and you’re fine without their assistance. You can thank them for checking but just explain you’re fine without their help. I know it seems rude, but you can’t second guess people these days. You’ve got to trust your instincts and know that not everyone has the best of intentions. Hence, why we have this podcast–right ladies? 

So hopefully by this point you get what I’m saying where you need to stay inside your vehicle, hopefully you’re able to pull to a well lit area and wait for your help to get there. If you do have a flat tire, if you HAVE to, drive slowly until you can get to a gas station or a bank or something where it has a bright parking lot for your safety. Even if you ruin your tire, no biggie-that can be saved. Your life could not if a creeper came along and tried to “help you change your tire.” 

Ok so let’s say you’re actually in a fender bender! What do you do? Well, have you guys ever heard of phony fender benders? I hadn’t but now I’m totally aware that this is a thing and it’s NOT okay. So apparently a trick that some creepers like to play is lightly rear-ending other vehicles as a way to get them to stop to allow a robbery, assault or carjacking! Crazy right? Like, how nutty can you be? So, typically our first instinct is to get out and see if your car is damaged and make sure everyone is okay. If you have even the tiniest of icky feelings that your fender bender was intentional–do NOT get out of your car and talk to the stranger. They’re most likely not going to damage your car enough where you can’t drive off but just enough where they can hijack your car and make you drive off or do who knows what else. So a police officer out of Delaware, Sergeant Pam Marshack who is a specialist in Women’s safety said that if you’re in this situation, don’t get out of your car and turn on the emergency blinkers so the other person knows you’re aware of being struck. If it’s at night, turn on your dome light so they can see you and motion to them to follow you to the nearest well-lit area. Don’t worry about leaving the scene of the accident. Your safety is MOST important. You’ll still call the police but you’re putting yourself in a safer position and environment. Proceed to a public space with lots of 

people and lights. And for heaven’s sake don’t go home. If it’s a creeper, you do not want them to know where you live. If anything seems out of the ordinary just try your instincts. Obviously, small fender benders happen all the time. I was hit by a grown man who rear-ended me because a spider crawled down from the ceiling of his car. LOL —– A few small tips that I thought were super helpful for us to consider to: keep an emergency kit in your car. Something like a flashlight, some peanut butter crackers, water bottles, bandaids, towels, reflectors and a lighter or something to help draw attention to you should you need emergency help. Also, if you have a piece of paper handy put a sign in the back window that says “Call Police” in your car so that if someone was to walk up to your car they’ll know to call the police for you. Some people that are creepy might even avoid you at that point because they don’t know if someone else has already called the police and they’re headed your way. And lastly, if you’re headed somewhere pretty far away, avoid letting your gas tank go below half full. You don’t want to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. This is just a recipe for disaster! 

So things happen you guys but always always always consider your safety a top priority. Don’t be fooled by a fake good samaritan and get yourself into a bad situation. And, don’t put yourself in danger by leaving your car in a dark creepy area hoping to find a near gas station on foot. It’s just not ideal. Call the police, your mom, your husband, and your insurance company and tell them all you’re having a vehicle emergency and need help ASAP. Keep your gas tank full, always have a charger handy for your phone and think with common sense! Stay safe out there ladies and most importantly don’t end up murdered!

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