Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Roadside Assistance

I'm curious how common it is for people to stop and help people who's cars have broken down. It seems pretty common out here in rural NH. I've been offered assistance more than a few times. Saturday, I gave a couple a lift into town. They broke down on a lightly traveled country road in an area with no cell service. Glad I was able to help. No big deal.

It's said that the rich won't stop to help. One time I thought I'd discovered an exception as a guy in a big luxury car stopped to help me out. Turns out he was a retired Navy guy who spent all his money on his car and lived in a one room apartment.

One of friends ran into trouble when he stopped to offer assistance to a woman who'd broken down on the highway. She was afraid and told him to just go. He did. However, she took down his license plate and told the State Police she was scared. At the time, the police were looking for a serial killer, and my friend's van matched the description of the suspect's vehicle.

Next thing you know, the FBI is investigating my friend. They impound his van and forensics teams went over it. He'd been camping and had forgotten to unload his rope and machete. Worse yet, he was having an affair and having sex with his girlfriend in the van. Even worse, because he was about to leave his wife, his emotional state was such a mess that he had inconclusive results on a polygraph test.

In the end, he was cleared as a suspect, but it certainly caused him a world of grief.

Even knowing what happened to my friend, I still stop to help people. However, if it's a single woman, I might just offer to contact the police for her.



  1. You never know what you're going to get into if you stop to help someone.

  2. I've found it just as easy to get help in a city. Even if the average city dweller is less likely to help, which I don't actually think is true, you have a lot more chances. I fear getting hurt or stranded much more once I'm north of Concord. I have no confidence in the Mooseknuckle Notch Volley Squad, and you can sit bleeding on the side of the road for an hour before anyone happens by.

    As to the "no good deed goes unpunished" I guess you have to do your best to look at the situation, and make the decision you can live with. I've given rides, helped change tires, and done ad-hoc emergency medicine for strangers. You still need to sleep with yourself.

  3. In this day and age, it's often hard to know just what to do.

    Still, like it was have to live with yourself. Couldn't just leave folks stranded without at least offering some sort of assistance!

  4. If it's someone I know, I'll stop. If I'm out in the middle of BFE, I'll stop, but my hand will be on my pistol. If it's a woman I don't know, given the above story, I'll keep driving...