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Should you stop to lend a helping hand?

Posted in Car Care, General, Safety by MrAngry | September 9th, 2010 | 5 Responses |


Here’s a question for you. If you were driving down some dark deserted road, be it in an urban area or in the middle of nowhere and you came upon a motorist in trouble, would you stop to help? Instinctively I bet that you’d want your answer to be “Yes”, but just stop and really think about this for moment. 9 times out of 10 the odds that something bad could happen from your actions as a good samaritan are very small. What about if something does happen though, then what? When I was younger and saw people in trouble the odds of me stopping to help out were pretty good. I’d first assess the situation and then see if there was truly anything I could do, if not I’d usually offer up a cell phone, or a ride if the person was stranded.

Car Trouble

Nowadays though, my thoughts on lending a helping hand have changed somewhat. I’m not saying that I don’t do it, but I am saying that I’m much more cautious in doing so. I’ve lived in the outer boroughs of New York City now for 20 years and in that time I’ve seen people do wonderful things for their neighbors. To the contrary though, I’ve also seen the very worst as far as human behavior goes, behavior that was not only exhibited to others, but to myself as well. Because of this I always find myself a little gun shy of helping out unless I feel it’s extremely necessary.

Car Trouble

It’s a tough call really. On the one hand most people are taught to do the right thing and help out when needed, but on the other, we now live in a land of lawsuits and fraud were people see no wrongdoing in taking advantage of others kindness. With that in mind let me present you with a hypothetical situation: It’s nighttime, around 11 pm and you find yourself driving down a lightly trafficked road in a rural area. Yes, there are some shops and plazas around, but for the most part they’re closed. As you’re driving you come up upon a late model car with a young girl flagging you down, you also notice the hood is up with a guy working underneath it.

The question – Would you stop, or would you keep going and why? Think about this for a few minutes and then post up your comments.

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5 Responses

  1. Sarge says:

    No, could be a set up. Even if you carry it could be trouble. Besides, someone is already helping.

  2. SNAK3 says:

    Sarge couldn’t have said it better.

  3. Kurt says:

    I’m a firearms instructor and I agree with Sarge. If they looked to be in real trouble, I’d call 911.

    On the other hand, if it was a medical emergency I’d stop. Car trouble generally isn’t a life or death thing, particularly if someone is already helping.

  4. ptschett says:

    In this situation I won’t stop, they already have help.

    Usually I’ll keep rolling unless I know I’m the first vehicle on the scene, or I recognize the person/car, or I think someone’s safety/health is at risk. I won’t stop if I think the other driver is in trouble as a result of stupidity (i.e. my fellow Fargoans who clog the streets with stuck cars because they got bored with staying home during a blizzard.) Also I won’t stop if I see the occupant is on the phone, I figure they’ve got help coming.

  5. Set says:

    I dunno. I’d really like to say I’d stop and help out. An old lady fell in front of me today, first thing I did was help her up. The thought of a trap, lawsuit, etc. wasn’t even in my mind. I’d probably stop, even though I probably shouldn’t.

    Call it being young, call it being a Marine, call it being taught right; I’d stop to help anyone I could in any way I could.