Monday, 16 May 2016

Safety update: Stranded and Alone - How to keep safe and get help fast

Imagine this scenario: One night you’re driving home from netball training and the kids are fighting in the back seat of the car. There are two ways you can drive home: the long way in a well populated area, or the short way which is along an isolated road without lighting.

Exhausted, cold and hungry you decide to go the short way – something you never usually do at night – in an effort to get everyone home quickly. As you are halfway along the dark, remote road you hear a thud, a clunk and realise that one of the tyres on the car has gone flat. Great! Just what you needed!

Here are some tips to help you keep calm, safe and get help as quickly as possible:

  • Although this may be obvious, avoid travelling on isolated roads at night if possible. Breaking down in a well-populated area is not nearly as bad. If you are low on petrol or have had car trouble in the past, always choose a well-populated route.

  • Ensure your mobile phone is always charged and have a back-up charger in the car for emergencies.

  • If you do find yourself stranded, try and keep calm so your children don’t start to get anxious. They can easily pick up on signs of panic and you don’t need them to be freaking out in addition to having to solve car troubles!

  • If you know someone who is nearby, call them first to come and pick you up. You can always deal with the car later by calling roadside assistance or attending to it the next day.

  • Stay in the car and use a blanket to keep yourself and the kids warm till help arrives.

  • If a passing motorist offers help, it’s best not to get out of the car to talk to them, just to be safe. Instead, tell them that you are fine and have help coming right away. Keep your mobile phone in your hand and call the police if you feel unsafe.

Although it’s not pleasant to think about the possibility of being in this situation, a little thought and planning can be the difference between a smooth ride home and a stressful emergency.