To help a man <shock> who had run out of petrol?

(53 Posts)
BluelightsAndSirens Wed 23-Jan-13 22:39:15

Would you stop and help some poor random standing at the side of the road with a petrol can?

He was facing the wrong way to the nearest petrol station for a start and it was still snowing.

I passed him thought poor bloke and turned my car back to offer help.

I had DC in the car, he was out of area and so so gob smacked and grateful I stopped.

It took 10 minutes out of my day to get him back on track but when I told a couple of friends what had happened they were shocked at how I had compromised my own safety and my DCs safety.

Was I bu?

NatashaBee Wed 23-Jan-13 23:35:57

I would happily fetch someone petrol, would be a bit wary of letting them into my car. I wouldn't drive past someone standing by the road clearly in difficulty though - I'd make sure I did something.

When the worst of the snow round here was coming down last Friday and my dh was making his way home just after lunch he spotted a police car stuck in the snow. All the other traffic was just passing by and dh was the only person to stop and see if she was alright. He ended up pushing her patrol car out for her as she had just resigned herself to having to radio into the station for help. She was very thankful to dh for stopping to check all was okay and getting her out. I was unsurprised that dh stopped to offer help, he would give the coat of his back to a person on need as would I, sometimes the people out there looking out for us need a helping hand and I am glad dh was there to offer it.
As with anything you need to always think of your personal safety and the safety of the people with us but in the op's case even if giving this chap a lift there and back for fuel was something she felt uncomfortable about it would be no excuse for not trying to help, she could have taken the petrol can and gone and fetched the petrol for him without ever having to leave the rflitive safety of her own locked car.
Too many people make excuses for not showing compassion and care towards others, if there where more folks like the op, others on the thread and my dh in the world it would in turn be a much nicer and safer place. YWDNBU!

Footface Wed 23-Jan-13 23:41:50

The thing is you hear so many bad stories that happen to people that try to help, often to woman, there was a recent warning from the police about gang initiation where a car seat is left in the road and the person that stopped to help thinkibg it was a baby would be attacked.

So it does make you more wary, but its very sad situation to live in where you feel everyone is a threat.

But on a positive note; I got stuck on a hill in the snow on Friday, and two very nice people pushed my car up the hill while another threw grit under the wheels.

BluelightsAndSirens Thu 24-Jan-13 08:56:37

It is a good feeling when randome help each other out.

Twattybollocks Thu 24-Jan-13 09:13:25

Yanbu. I wouldn't have taken him to the petrol station, but would have offered to go and get the petrol for him. If he's genuine, he would be happy to give you a fiver and the petrol can.

NightLark Thu 24-Jan-13 09:38:31

sad for Zombie. Tis not always that way - when I broke down on the motorway (bastards who sold me that car) and ended up standing behind the hard shoulder with my then 4 month old DS in a sling, four different cars pulled onto the hard shoulder to offer help. From a classic 'white van man' to a very posh lady in a 4x4. there are decent people out there. Just not enough of them.

FWIW, I have given (short, local) lifts to male and female students trying to find the local uni and a lost eastern european woman trying to find a care home where she had a job interview. With small children in the car. <risk taker>.

sparkle101 Thu 24-Jan-13 09:42:48

I've seen on here before that the car seat one is an urban myth and that the statements that appear to be from police forces have been proved to have been false. I would still be wary though.

Although when I was driving through a country lane a stone kicked up and smashed my back windscreen. I pulled over in tears and phoned my parents. I was there for about twenty minutes and a local firefighter pulled over to check I was okay and to calm me down. I was very grateful!

gallifrey Thu 24-Jan-13 09:47:50

I once saw a man hobbling along on crutches with one of his legs in plaster, he looked pale and clammy and was clearly struggling. I had stopped at the traffic lights on my way home from a night shift and I looked over at him and asked him if he was ok, he shook his head and was at this point leaning against a wall.
I turned round and went back and offered him a lift, he was going to the job centre which was at least a mile away. I took him there and he thanked me profusely. Poor sod, I have no idea why he was trying to walk there he had only broken his leg the day before.
Also he said that not one single other person had even asked him if he was ok let alone offered him a lift!

YANBU to help a person in distress provided that your first concern is your own safety. My first aider training is a bit rusty but I remember rule one in any situation was to make sure that the situation was safe for yourself before working on the casualty.

In the OP's situation I'd have gone and fetched fuel for them but wouldn't have given them a lift.

BlueLight well done for helping.
I suppose the safest thing (Hindsight is wonderful though grin ) would be to take his petrol can, fill it and take it back rather than have him in your car.
(You'd be doing the journey there and back anyway)

A few years back, I had a flat tyre in a hire car. I got off the main road onto a smaller,narrower but still fairly busy road. Parked as far as I could off the road.
Because the traffic had to overtake me, I got out, put the boot up and stood at the side (in my NHS tunic and trousers not an Axe Murderer Costume)

No bugger stopped. No-one paused to say "Have you got a phone"

A huge lorry pulled up behind me, but only to blast the horn and curse at me.

I wasn't expecting anyone to dive out and change the tyre BTW. I'd phoned the breakdown (as it was a hire care) but I was hmm and a bit angry

CuttedUpPear Thu 24-Jan-13 10:02:19

Good on you for stopping. I always ado and always will.
I pick up hitch hikers every time I see them, whether I have DCs in the car or not.

I hitch hiked everywhere for a at least a decade of my life, I'm returning all those favours!

Morloth Thu 24-Jan-13 10:05:43

I would offer to take the petrol can and get him some petrol.

Would not allow him into my car, especially with the kids. I will roll dice with my own safety quite happily, but not with theirs.

ToomuchWaternotWine Thu 24-Jan-13 10:12:44

So bluelights I am trying to figure out how you helped him if you didn't get out of the car? Did you just say you would send someone from the petrol station to him?

DreamingofSummer Thu 24-Jan-13 10:15:17

Well done you! Kindness is never unreasonable. Your friends are simply wrong

SirBoobAlot Thu 24-Jan-13 11:04:43

Unfortunately we are now conditioned and bombarded with "EVERY MAN IS A RAPIST!" from every angle. So you did the right thing in stopping, but it is totally understandable how your friend's mindset has come about.

When working in my friend's small shop, I once stayed open for an extra hour as someone had left their keys there - they had both car keys and house keys on, so I knew they had to still be in the area. She was so grateful when she collected them.

I do my Christmas shopping throughout the year, and also put aside a small amount to buy hot drinks for the homeless during the winter. I may not be rich, far from it, but I have more than those people do. I have been doing it for several years now, and they always looked so shocked when I approach them and ask if they would like a tea or coffee. I know where the cheapest cafes are to where they are usually sleep / selling the BI, so it doesn't cost me much. Know it makes a difference to them though.

Crinkle77 Thu 24-Jan-13 11:08:08

I think that was a lovely thing to do and it restores your faith in humanity. I would hope that if I was in some sort of horrible situation that someone would help me so that is how I tend to treat people. I once gave some money to a lad on the bus who did not have enough money. It actually gave me a bit of a warm glow to know that I had made someones day go a bit smoother

BluelightsAndSirens Thu 24-Jan-13 13:31:46

tomuch I spoke through an open window, he got in out in and back out again and I drove off smile

We drove to and from the petrol station In between the in out part!

EuroShagmore Thu 24-Jan-13 13:50:52

It was a lovely thing to do. I think you just need to be wary and trust your instincts. If your instincts say it is fine, it probably will be. Most people are not axe murderers!

I am a big believer in what goes around comes around. I often offer to help people on the tube with big suitcases or pushchairs, because I know one day it will be me off on a long business trip with a huge suitcase and laptop bag and I hope it will be paid back. But I don't only do it for that reason. It feels good to do something to help someone else.

I've stopped to help before, especially in snow - people panic and I learnt to drive during a very snowy winter grin

But DH is a bloody road angel compared to me; he's stopped countless times, including for a lady who'd broken down on the M275 with two very small frightened children. So he gave her the blanket from our boot to wrap them up and waited with them til AA arrived.

He's tootled off to work this morning in a hi-viz vest with a shovel and a flask in case he comes across trouble, bless him.

It once got him into bother though. He saw a cyclist lying in the middle of the road ahead so stopped with hazards on so no one could hit the cyclist and injure him further. He called emergency services and kept the cyclist warm (with the famous blanket) and talking who said he'd been knocked down by a van. But when the police arrived the cyclist said DH had done it!

Fortunately the collision had occurred near a pub with CCTV and it showed a van hitting him and DH had done nothing of the sort. But he was very upset after that one and said he wasn't ever stopping again until he saw a motorbike on fire and stopped to help including giving the motorcyclist a lift

If ever I break down I hope someone like you or DH stops to help!

DizzyZebra Thu 24-Jan-13 14:46:58

I'd have helped. My Dad would tell me not to.

I know he would never pick up female hitch hikers, And tried to avoid stopping to help a woman on his own if possible because he knew too many people who'd picked up women 'in need' and they'd done a number on them and even accused them of rape/assault. A lot of drivers i know of won't do it now.

kelly14 Thu 24-Jan-13 14:48:32

When travelling oz for a year when younger, we had arrived in perth and i hated it and had full tantrum at my brother and boyfriend to get me out of their now!
They came back with a camper van and we proceeded to drive across the nullabor to sydney.

We had got a relocation deal on the camper ( a camper was needed in sydney in a week, so we got the camper for $1 a day, full tank of gas and they would refund us $300 worth of any gas we used ) so to get there in time, my bro and boyf would drive throughout the night, something we was warned not to do as kangeroos line the roads and jump out!

we would go hours sometimes without seeing another car pass and on going in service stations the whole place would turn round in silence and stare (think wolf creek!)
Anyway one day i was asleep in back and awoke to us roadside! It was about 40 degrees and the 2 idiots decided not to fill up at the last station (again we was told to make sure we filled up at every station!) and we had run out of petrol!!

A few trucks went pass and wouldnt stop but then a lovely NZealander with a family stopped and syphoned (dont know how to spell that) us off enough petrol from his tank to get us to next station!

Its not a trip i would ever make again and the thought of it now scares the hell outta me!

Would i stop for someone , definately yes and have jump started people and asked someone only yesterday if they needed help. Would i stop and help someone in middle of nowhere, NO but i would ring non emergency services and make them aware.

magicstar1 Thu 24-Jan-13 14:52:09

I'm a biker and we seem to have a totally different outlook on this to most people. If you stop at the side of the road for a couple of minutes you'll always have another biker stop and ask if you need help. I've stopped myself for a couple of people...one told his friend about me stopping, turned out his friend was my FIL grin

carabos Thu 24-Jan-13 14:52:17

I picked up a young male hitchhiker last week on my way to a meeting. He was carrying an enormous rucksack and reminded me of my own DSs who are about the same age. It never occurred to me that he might be anything other than what he claimed - a student who had been on a camping trip up the dale.

I dropped him off at his digs in the student area of the city - about a 15 min drive from where I picked him up. He was very grateful.

When I got to my meeting and mentioned to the client what I had done she was horrified, as was everyone else in the office.

I'd like to think that the boy's mum is a woman like me who would want a woman like me to help her son (iyswim).

I wouldn't stop... I would be thinking of the worst case scenario.

But in my defense I have been a victim of a random violent attack from a male stranger. I realise that there is a teen tiny percentage of people in my position though.

Commander that cyclist- the turd angry

What was the response when it showed on CCTV?
I'm not surprised your DH would be wary now.

He should take the blanket back and wrap himself up and glare at the cyclist wink

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now