Safe&Sound: 3 Smart Rules to Roadside Safety for WomenMon Apr 24, 2017
Ever been in this situation? When I was a college student, I was traveling home on a rural road late at night and noticed I was quickly approaching a very slow moving car. It seemed to be lost or having mechanical issues. I slowed down, but before I knew what happened, the other car came to a screeching stop and I rear-ended it. I was shaken up but relieved it was only a fender bender. Then the doors opened and two men got out and headed towards my car. The relief was instantly gone and I was terrified and alone.
I’m a mother now, much wiser, and usually in bed before 10:00! But, I still drive alone every day and have daughters that do too. There was even a recent case in Virginia of an assault of a women driving alone following a collision that may have been intentional. Scary!
So, I wanted to survey our auto insurance claims team here at NNINS. They know the smartest, most up-to-date information from decades of helping members in the aftermath of tough roadside situations.
Here are our 3 simple rules:
1. Your cell phone is your best friend.
So, keep it charged! If it’s dead, you still should be able to use the car’s battery to make an emergency call even if your car won’t start- just turn your key to the 2nd or 3rd ignition position. Even if you can’t get a signal, pretend to be talking to someone if a stranger is present.
2. Never accept unofficial help.
No matter how kind or harmless a “good Samaritan” seems, our times call for caution. Don’t roll down your window or get out of the car. The ONLY help you should accept from them is a phone call to 911. Don’t leave the safety of your car until an emergency responder or your roadside service arrives.
3. Don’t assume an unmarked car with a flashing light is a police officer.
Crack your window and ask for a call to roadside assistance. Don’t trust an ID he shows you. If he asks you to come out of the car, call 911 to verify his identity. You can even crack the window and inform the officer you’re doing so and provide license and registration if needed: if he’s the real deal, he won’t mind.
Practice these 3 but also try to prevent roadside emergencies with our Safe&Sound Driving Essentials and you’ll be set! If you get stranded with little ones, check out our blog post on how to keep you and your kids safe.
I wish I could tell my younger self what I know now. Thankfully, I was smart enough back then to exchange insurance information with the guy through my cracked window, and I was able to drive my car away from the accident that night. But if you aren’t so lucky and find yourself alone on the side of the road, follow our 3 nuggets of wisdom so you too can stay safe and sound.