How to help people stranded in traffic

It’s the worst feeling!

You’re driving around in your car. You might be singing, talking on the phone, listening to your gps, talking to your passenger, or simply sitting with your thoughts. Suddenly, without warning, your car starts to slow down. The gas, the ignition – nothing! Nothing is making your car go. You’re stopped! The thing about your car stopping is that it can happen at anytime, at any moment, in any weather, and anywhere you happen to be. Whether this happens in beautiful weather or horrible weather it stinks! Most of the time, it just so happens you’re stuck in a lane with traffic zipping by both sides.  You can call a tow truck, but you’re still going to have to sit there in the middle of the road with people yelling at you, beeping at you, and possibly hit you because they were paying attention to a “i love you” txt.  The ebst thing to do is get it off the road, but it’s really really hard to do that by yourself.

Helping others since the invention of the car.

Helping others since the invention of the car.

We as people have a moral obligation to help other people (please protect yourself as well though. If you gut says no, don’t go!) Everyone is going through this life doing the best they can for the situations they are in and the gifts they were born with. They are searching for happiness, searching for love, and searching for peace just as you are. We all run into problems, and we are here in communities and societies in order to help our neighbor. But what are you suppose to do when you come across someone int he middle of the road?

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 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 decided long ago, I can’t and don’t want to see the world like this.

Instead of the theory that the worldis becoming worse (a view every gweneration has when watching the next generation). Instead of the theory that all people are selfish. I propose the theory that: People just don’t know what to do when they see someone stranded or “broken down” in the road.

Therefore, in response to this theory I’m going to help the world out. I’m going to show you step by step how to help people who are stranded in traffic.

Step 1: 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. From stopping to yell or repirmand the kids, fixing the drinks, or even sneezing.

The reasons for not wanting help can range from gender socialization to help is already on the way. In fact, many people are taught never ever to accept help from a stranger. Because of the large number of rapes in our country (1 in 3 women), many women do not want to accept strangers’ help…justifiably so!

  • Step up to the car 4-6 steps from the door.
  • Ask through the window if they need help. (Don’t access them to roll down the window because that is an attempt to gain access to their car, and that just frightens people)
  • I know you can help!!!

    I know you can help!!!

    Smile! (Smiling people’s drops people’s guard and shows that you are only trying to help.

  • Ask if they need you to call help (it’s always a good idea to call for help before you do anything so you can get them on their way)
  • Explain that it would be a good idea to move the car and you’d be happy to help.
  • Ask to help them move the car.
  • Accept their answer!

Step 2: Help!

Once you’ve established that the person is in need of help, 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!!!

Step 3 – Clear Traffic

Push and help!

Push and help!

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!

Step 3 – Make sure Everything is 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!!!

If it was an accident, stay there to be a witness.

If you are mechanically inclined, offer your services.

In this way, you are now helping others and helping make the world a better place. Remember, every person who passes you is learning from you. They will pay it forward and the world will continue to become better and better.

Now everyone…you know how to help, all you have to do is go out there and do it!


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