This evening someone sent me the old Internet saw about coughing to give yourself CPR if you find yourself having a heart attack while alone. (It doesn’t work, and wastes time that could be spent far more profitably attempting to get help.) Anyway, back in the long-ago before cell phones I used to teach tactical driving at the Criminal Justice Institute here, and the meme reminded me of something we used to teach that could be helpful in some situations.
Q. What do you do if you’re driving and think you’re having a heart attack?
No, you don’t drive yourself to the hospital unless you’re right in front of one. The last thing you need is an accident to add to your troubles, and there’s an excellent chance that would be the result. Here’s what you do.
- Turn on your emergency flashers.
- Pull over to the side of the highway, with your wheels barely off the pavement.
- Open whichever door is closest to the traffic, right out into the traffic lane.
- Lie down across the seat, and then use your cell phone to call 9-1-1, if you are able to.
This guarantees that you will get a lot of attention from other drivers, who will likely see you lying across the seat and know you need help. Even if they don’t see you, they’re sure to call the local gendarmes to tell them that some idiot has his door open right out into the road — or that they just hit it.
It may sound extreme, but in emergencies you have to do what you have to do, and it will work.