How to Act in Life Threatening Situations

The inspiration for this article came from my own personal experience that occurred only a week ago. Long story short, my car pooped out on me on the side of the highway coming back from my hometown. I was unable to drive and was stuck with a flat tire. If that wasn’t difficult enough, I couldn’t locate where I was on the highway because there were no mile markers and no exits anywhere close to me. When I called road side assistance, I was barely able to tell them where I was. While I was waiting for assistance with changing my tire, I saw a car pull up beside me and so I cracked my window just enough so they could talk to me. It was an older man who wanted to know what my dilemma was.


I simply told him that I was waiting for road side assistance. He asked me what was wrong with my car and I replied that I had a flat tire. He insisted that he had tools to help fix it and that he could help when road side assistance arrived. I told him that both road side assistance and my father were on the way and were going to be there soon, however, he continually insisted on helping me. I said no about two times in a friendly manner, but he continued to not get the hint. He pulled up in front of my car and continued to stay there. I didn’t want to be mean by profiling him in any way, but I found myself to be in an unsafe and uncomfortable situation. He never made a move to get out of his car, but I’m not sure if he ever was going to so I called 911. An officer came by and diffused the situation, making sure that the older man left and road side assistance finally arrived, along with my dad. After the scenario played out, the officer told me that they had gotten other calls about the man in the area “doing weird things” and to this day, I am glad that I trusted my instincts.


A situation like that definitely made me think on my feet. It also reminded me of the importance of always being aware, always being prepared and judging your instincts. I think that in the world we live in today, it’s completely necessary to be prepared for any situation and to use your resources. Especially if you are alone or in a vulnerable place, it is so imperative to know what to do and how to do it. I put together a list of ideas for how to survive a life threatening situation or even just an uncomfortable one.



1. Pay attention to your surroundings.


Make sure that when in a situation that asks you to think quickly, you are aware of your location and how to get away if need be. Think about how you can find help, where you can go and how you can get there safely. Paying attention to signals and instincts are also incredibly significant when caught in a sticky situation.


2. Know where to find resources and how to use them.

Make sure to have knowledge of where important information and resources would be located. For example, if you are in a car accident, have access to your license and registration and if you end up with a flat tire know where your manual is and who to contact for assistance.



3. Don't hesitate to ask for help.


If you feel uncomfortable make sure to ask for help. Contact your family or friends and call 911 if the situation asks for it. Don’t feel bad about being more safe than sorry and know that your safety should be your number one concern always. It is better to “over react” than to risk your health, safety and possibly, your life.



4. Use your common sense.


Just like in any situation, make sure to use your common sense. When traveling or going anywhere, your phone should be charged and if not, you should have access to a charger. This is crucial in case you need to contact someone to pick you up or rescue you from your current situation.



5. Have a plan.


It’s definitely worth creating a figurative plan for different life threatening situations, just so that you are prepared for when and if the moment comes. Planning out details, who you are going to contact, how you are going to get to safety and what tools you will need to be okay will only aid you in being ready for any situation that you could find yourself in.



All in all, the importance of knowing how to act in a life threatening situation is growing everyday with the number of crimes that occur. Educating yourself, using the lessons you’ve learned and remembering to be aware are all ways to help lower the intensity of a given situation and will allow you to collect your thoughts and keep a cool head. Life threatening situations are not unheard of, but by using some of these tips, you can be more prepared than you would have otherwise been. I hope that you never find yourself in any sort of situation, but if you do, use your resources and try your best to remain calm. 


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