Safety Tips for Good Samaritans
March 13th is known as National Good Samaritan Day, a 24-hour period that promotes committing unselfish actions that benefit anyone in need. As a driver, there are quite a few ways you can show your neighbor a gesture of kindness. Here are some suggestions to inspire your own altruism today, as well as some tips for staying safe while you lend assistance.
Help a stranded driver
Whether it’s a flat tire or simply failing to fill up your gas tank before it runs empty, getting stuck on the side of the road can definitely dampen your spirit. If you happen to be driving near the scene of a break down, stop by to help the person out. Maybe you’re an expert at changing tires or maybe all the person needs is for you to drive them to a nearby gas station to pick up some gas. Even though we live in the age of cell phones, why not take a moment to help someone face to face rather than just virtually?
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Help a trucker
Accidents are usually associated with blocked roads, traffic delays, and alternative routes. Sometimes truck drivers aren’t as lucky when it comes to finding detours that are truck-friendly. If you find a trucker who is stranded near a bridge that’s too short for the truck to safely pass through, help him or her out by stopping traffic with your car (turn your car’s hazard lights on, to prevent a collision). You can also park your car safely on the side of the road, step out of your car, and use gestures to help the trucker maneuver his truck back to the nearest detour.
Give a hitchhiker a lift
To stay safe while picking up a hitchhiker, make sure to thoroughly survey the person’s appearance. A hitchhiker will look like a person who is traveling. This means that they’ll usually have a backpack and perhaps a map or book in hand. Sometimes they’ll lack this gear, if they’re traveling only a short distance and need a ride. Also pay attention to any potential weapons the hitchhiker might be carrying. It’s a good idea to tell the person you’ll drive them X miles and/or to a specific common place like a gas station near a major freeway or intersection; this will help prevent them from traveling with you for longer than you feel comfortable with. Lastly, if you’re traveling alone when you encounter the hitchhiker, you might want to save your “good Samaritan” deed for a time when you have a friend or two in the car as an extra measure of safety.
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