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5 Ways to Stay Calm In A Sudden Car Emergency



man shouting over the phone and pointing towards car engine

Car problems are an inevitable part of modern life. In that moment when your tyre bursts on the highway and you're not sure if you used the spare, or you hear a strange sound from your engine and you think you smell smoke, the initial feeling is often panic. This feeling can be fuelled by a variety of factors; the location and time of day for example. Here are a few ways to quickly ground yourself so you're thinking clearly in your response to a sudden car emergency.


  1. Breathe. Cliches are cliches because they are true. One of the most effective and immediate ways to ground yourself in a moment of panic is a good ole deep breath. Two short breaths through the nose and one long exhale through mouth. Repeat once or twice if you need to.

  2. Connect to a sense. Name something you can feel. An object in your hand, your feet planted on the floor of your car, really anything that can be felt. Focus on that sensation for a few seconds. Granted, this seems silly for someone who's car just stopped on the highway but it works.

  3. Be prepared. The best way to respond to an emergency situation is before it happens. Know exactly what your insurance covers. The last thing you want is to find out the insurance you pay for every month doesn't cover your current emergency, while having the emergency. Having a roadside assistance subscription to a service like Road Aider gives added peace of mind in situations like these.

  4. Mantra. Waiting for roadside assistance can be nerve-wrecking too. But in that moment (provided you weren't physically harmed) the worst has already happened and you are okay. Reminding yourself of that fact using a repeated phrase like "The worst has already happened but I'm fine" has an immediate calming effect.

  5. Gratitude. Of all the ways to remain calm in an emergency, gratitude is the most empowering. By remembering all that is still good and all that we do have and that, ultimately everything is going to be okay we put ourselves in the best headspace to respond in the best way to an emergency. Again, counter-intuitive, but it works.

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