How to Help Someone Stranded in the Road

by on February 18th, 2011
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I come across people stranded in the middle of the road all the time. When I help these poor people, they tell me stories about how they’ve been sitting in the middle of the road for 20 min., 30 min, and even up to an hour and a half just waiting for someone to help them. Many people say this happens because because the world is getting worse and worse. The other thing I hear people say when I tell them stories like this is that people are too selfish to stop and help someone else. I can’t and don’t want to see the world like this.

I propose that people just don’t know what to do when they see someone stranded or “broken down” in the road. So, this is how you can help those people.

Find out if they need help

If someone is stopped with their flashers on in the middle of the road, you can’t assume they need help or want help for that matter. There is a myriad of reasons why people stop in the middle of the road. The reasons for not wanting help can range from gender socialization to help are on its way.

You need to get the vehicle out of the way of traffic. Most cars are easily pushed and if the driver can help you, the 2 of you can easily push it. BUT, where are you going to push it?

The best place is always a parking lot. Look for a parking lot that has a driveway that isn’t that steep. Pushing a car up a hill isn’t fun.

Remember – The closest parking place might be behind you!

What if you can’t push it?

If you and the driver can’t push the car, get some help. Ask every driver, pedestrian, shop owner, walker on the street, etc. to help you push the vehicle. Remember that you decided to do this so you’re the one telling everyone where to go and who needs to push where. Also, once people start pushing, good people will pop out of the woodwork to help you. I promise!!!

Clear Traffic

When people are pushing a car most people will look out for you and try to move out of the way. What if there are a lot of cars in the way, you’re on a busy road, or you’re in the middle of an intersection? You’re going to have to get everyone out of the road with out getting hit and with out upsetting the other people.

In the middle of traffic – Have an idea of where you want to go and how you’re going to get the car there. If you’re in doubt ask the driver and the other people pushing. Always ask the driver if they’re ok with their car in the spot you’re going to push it too. Begin asking people if you can push the car in front of them. Go up to each car that will be affected and ask if you can cut in, if they’ll wait for you, etc.

If it’s in a bunch of cars moving – Politely ask people to stop by putting both hands in front of you and then waving them over your head. These will definitely get people’s attention, but it might not get them to stop. The ones that will stop, run over to their window and ask if they’ll please wait while you push this car in front of them. They have the right to say NO, and that’s ok. However, some will say yes. It’s always a good idea to ask them to help push if they say yes…what do you got to lose? Last ditch effort, just start pushing and hope people will not hit you. 90% of the time, they won’t!

Everything OK?

Once you have the car safely out of traffic – Breath a sigh of relief that you’re done!

Ask the person if they’re ok. See if you can do anything else for them: Call a tow truck, call the police /paramedics, or call a relative. If someone’s already coming, ask if they’d like to you to stay with them for a bit. Remember – This person just went through a traumatic experience and they may not want to be alone. Empathize with them and ask if they’re all right. Once they’re ok, go back to your day knowing you did a great thing!!!

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