Here is a small emergency that happens a lot.

Here is a small emergency that happens a lot.

Every year thousands of us who own a car lock our keys in the car. I have done it a couple time over my lifetime. This article talks about this.

Let’s look at the options they outline to deal with this emergency.

  1. Dial 911 – for many this reactive choice is taken.
    Many times this is based on being proactive with safety concerns based on ones surroundings. We have to evaluate the chances of physical harm from those around us. There is a term used for a loan traveler stuck in a nonfunctioning car. That is “a birdie in a cage”, implying easy prey. Again, it comes down to risk assessment and staying safe.
  2. Call for roadside assistance from AAA or travel club.
    I drive an old car that currently has over 200,000 miles. For me a AAA membership is a must because I have a high risk of my car breaking down. I also have the 100 mile towing because I almost never drive this car more than 100 miles from my home. So having my wife and I and our two college student children on AAA is a means to address risk.
  3. Call a tow truck.
    My son found out about this one before he agreed to be added to our AAA policy. He blew an engine on a dangerous hill. I had to go and help him. I he had AAA we would have called AAA right away. Instead he spent about an hour trying to get the car started. During that hour he could have easily been hit by a car speeding on the blind curves of that hill. After I finally convinced him to give up we called the tow truck and had to wait another hour on the dangerous hill. I know that if you had AAA he would not have taken the risks he did.
  4. Get a temporary key from your dealer.
    This assumes that you are in a safe place and that you have access to your dealer. This is not a likely option at night or on holidays. You need the identification number (visible through the lower edge of the driver’s-side windshield). Personally know of one person who got to the dealer only to find they forgot the number.
  5. Buy a car with benefits such as On Star that can open door.
    I will admit in our modern age new ways to address risk appear. When we purchase a car we should do our homework on driving risks. It is very likely that if you seldom purchase a car then safety options have changed since the last car you purchased. You need to think beyond the looks and to the day to day use. For the risk in driving are found in the day to day use of the vehicle. Be proactive where possible in addressing risks.
  6. Keep an extra key handy.
    This use to be one of my best choices. However, I have seen how expensive getting keys for some new cars can become. Higher-end models of cars can cost several hundred dollars for a single key and can only be purchased and programmed through a dealer. In such a case do you purchase On Star and get other benefits? It all comes down to identifying your risks and the options available to you to addressing those risks.

Different people may not see the risks the same way. And it is not uncommon for people to choose different solutions to the same risks. Finally, it is also likely that many will not even think about this risk until it happens to them. Once they experience a risk event the likely hood of them preparing for it in the future increases greatly.


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