Stranded Vehicle problems? We have been there! We wanted to revisit this blog previously written and give a quick update. Along with Dawn’s story of how she ended up with an empty tank (which happens to the best of us). We wanted to give some quick tips on what to do AND what not to do with a stranded vehicle.
What to do with a stranded vehicle
Running out of gas or having car issues happens to the best of us. Here is a quick list of what you should do if you happen to encounter this situation.
1. Report that you are leaving your vehicle to the police. This is especially necessary if you are causing any kind of traffic jam! Better safe than sorry.
2. Try not to leave your vehicle for too long. Make sure that you have a tow coming or you are on your way back immediately if you are receiving gas. Near let your car stay there for too long!
3. If you are on someone’s property, make sure to let them know you need to leave your vehicle.
4. Leave a note on your windshield letting others know that you will be back to return.
5. Hide all items! We mean all of them. Again, you are going to want to be more safe than sorry in this situation.
6. If possible pull over as out of the way of traffic as you possibly can. No one likes the guy that causes the traffic jam! Remember to only do this if you can in a safe manner.
What if I need to have an abandoned vehicle reported?
This is unfortunately a very common occurrence. Below is what the Texas DMV department Has to say about dealing with abandoned vehicles:
A person or entity needing to dispose of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle demolisher may apply to the department for a Certificate of Authority. A Certificate of Authority facilitates the transfer of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle demolisher for the purposes of crushing and destroying the motor vehicle.
A person (including an entity or unit of government) may apply to the department for authority to dispose of a motor vehicle if:
-The person is the recorded owner
-The person has been transferred ownership of the motor vehicle
-The vehicle is an abandoned motor vehicle and is in the possession of the person or located on property owned by the person
In conclusion, stay safe!
We hope you enjoyed this small update on what to do if you must abandon your vehicle. Remember to stay safe, always check your gas tank and keep your car regularly updated!
Comedy Defensive Driving
My newer car shows me how many miles worth of fuel that I have in my tank. I’m not sure if that’s highway miles or city miles. It warns me when there are only 35 miles of fuel in my tank. It’s a bit ridiculous, I think, since I could go several days without driving 35 miles. The dinging and flashing doesn’t stop until I fuel up. I spent the holiday with my little old mom in Illinois. When at home, I always drive her around in her 2007 Cadillac. That way, she can relax and be chauffeured around like Driving Miss Daisy. We’d been driving for about five days, apparently on fumes. I hadn’t paid attention that her old school fuel gauge was on empty until we ran out of gas on a four-lane interstate, at night, in the middle of nowhere, with no visible mile markers or street lights. Dozens of big rigs flying by, and not moving over when they passed our stranded vehicle.
NOT THE FIRST TIME
Initially, we laughed about it and my mom reminded me about the last time she ran out of gas, about 40 years ago when she was taking us to school. She thought she’d just be dropping us off, so she had on her pajamas, a bathrobe, and big fuzzy pink house slippers. In the dead of winter in Illinois, walking to the gas station with her gas can. When she got back to the car, those fuzzy slippers were packed in snow, making them look about 5 times their actual size, making it impossible to walk in. Again, this was the LAST time she ever let her fuel gauge get that low. But, again, I was driving and she was riding along. Neither of us paying attention to the empty gas gauge. So here, 40 years later, we found ourselves in a most dangerous predicament.
ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN
In hindsight, I wish I’d had a plan so we hadn’t sat there in danger for so long. The entire assistance process is so very different, state-to-state. In my state, there is a phone number on the back of your driver’s license for Roadside Assistance and Emergencies. Our tax dollars here pay to dispatch help if you find yourself stranded on any highway or tollway with a flat tire or if you run out of gas. But here, in another state, I wasn’t sure what to do. So we called the roadside assistance number on my mom’s insurance card. After about 40 nerve-racking minutes, they dispatched help from an hour away! What the heck? I searched service stations in the area, but most were closed or not calling back. So I went online to the Illinois Highway Patrol website. It said to call 9-1-1 for help. Here, if you called 9-1-1 because you ran out of gas, they’d let you have it for tying up emergency lines. But, I called the number, they sent a State Trooper who took us to a station, got us gas and we went on our way!
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE CAR IS STRANDED
Again, have a plan. Have your insurance card ready and easy to locate. Have your phone charged up, bring blankets if it’s cold. Pull as close off the shoulder as possible to leave more space between your car and those passing. But not too far off the shoulder that your 83 year old mom won’t open the door and fall into the ditch. And pay attention to your gas gauge. Unlike your insurance’s roadside assistance, it doesn’t lie.