Few things are more frustrating than getting locked out of your car. First, you feel stupid for mishandling your keys or leaving them in the car. Second, you’re terrified because you’re away from home and you don’t know you’re going to get there.
Third, depending on the situation, you might realize that you’re in physical danger of some kind. One of the most important auto safety insights is knowing what to do when you’re locked out of your car.
We’re going to run through some safety tips for you for instance when your car keys are misplaced and you’re locked out of the car. Let’s get started.
Auto Safety 101: Locked Out of Car
The first thing to do when you realize you’re locked out is to assess the situation around your vehicle. Where are you?
Are you in a safe place, or do you feel that you might be in danger of some kind? Say, for example, that you had to pull over on the side of a busy road for some reason.
You get out, you do whatever you have to do, and you find that your keys are nowhere to be found and the car’s locked. It’s a busy highway, you’re near the white line, and it’s getting dark. That’s a situation that puts you in significant danger.
If that’s the case, get away from your car and use your phone to call the police. Only call the police in instances when you are in actual danger. There are other options that we’ll discuss next, but they take longer than the police do when addressing situations like this.
Police come right away, whereas other options might take over an hour.
“What If I Don’t Have My Phone?”
If you don’t have a phone that’s charged and within range of service, there are a couple of options at your disposal.
The first and safest thing to do is walk toward the nearest business. So long as you don’t have to walk on the side of the road in a dangerous way, this is a good way to connect with help. It’s dangerous to walk on the side of the highway for a long period of time, though, so try not to take this option if you need to walk on the highway for over a mile or two.
You could also flag someone down to ask if you can use their cell phone. This is an option that we don’t recommend, as you never know who might pull over. That said, you’re in a difficult situation and you’re stuck there until something changes.
Stand at your vehicle, ideally behind it on the grass. Stand somewhere that won’t be affected if your vehicle were to get hit by another car. Wave at passersby until someone sees you and offers to help.
When they do come, avoid getting into their car or letting them take you anywhere. Use their phone outside, thank them for their help, and go back to your vehicle.
Your final option is to put your hazards on and wait for a police officer to drive by. Flag down the police officer or other municipal vehicle that might help you to safety.
Call Locksmith Services
When your phone is on your person, the best thing you can do is to call a locksmith service. There are a lot of roadside assistance locksmiths such as “Pop-a-Lock” that help drivers all over the country.
Note that the fees of these services might be high and the wait times could get long. Locksmith services are a necessity, and they charge rates appropriate to the value that their service has.
Locksmiths are your only option unless you’re able to use tricks with a hanger wire or your shoelace. The shoelace trick involves making a slipknot, filtering your lace through the driver’s side door and dropping it around the lock latch then pulling.
It works in older vehicles, although new vehicles get equipped with safer doors and windows. Without those skills, though, you’re faced with the necessity of lock service.
There’s one saving grace working in your favor, though, and that is a roadside assistance membership.
Roadside Assistance Services
Getting a membership to some kind of roadside assistance service is very valuable. Any time you lock yourself out of your car, run out of gas, have a breakdown, or need a tow, they’ll be there to help you.
There are limits to the number of times you can use these services per year, but they tend to be a lot higher than the average person would ever need. For example, you might have ten credits for free “locked out openings” per year.
If you lock yourself out of your vehicle more than ten times per year, you’re still saving hundreds of dollars in locksmith fees. The same goes for those with cars that break down often.
The most notable roadside assistance is The American Automobile Association (AAA). AAA memberships cover individuals who are driving anywhere around the United States. No matter the time and no matter the circumstances with your vehicle, you know that you can get help.
Plans tend to be affordable as well. The value you pay per year is often less than the cost of one thing going wrong with your vehicle throughout the year. For example, someone might break down in the middle of nowhere.
A towing service charges exorbitant rates per mile, and depending on where you are, you could be out a couple of hundred dollars from one tow. A $100 AAA membership is half of that cost, and it gives you free tows plus a lot of other features.
Look into the AAA lost keys features if you think their services are something you could use.
Need More Vehicle Safety Ideas?
Hopefully, the ideas above gave you some insight into your plan of action if you’re ever locked out. There’s more to learn about staying safe on the roads, though.
We’re here to help. Explore our site for more ideas on auto safety, locksmith services, and much more.