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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?

SoleSource Wed 23-Jan-13 22:41:09

Yabu I would have ran.over him just incase

Hegsy Wed 23-Jan-13 22:41:25

YWNBU I think it's nice to be nice. And would hope someone would do the same for my husband/step father to be

IamtheZombie Wed 23-Jan-13 22:41:50

Zombie thinks you were very kind. Compromised your safety? Maybe, but Zombie would think in the circumstances you describe, highly unlikely.

Well done.

WorraLiberty Wed 23-Jan-13 22:43:16

So your friends think you should never stop for anyone?

Or do they think the only people who randomly attack good samaritans are penis owners?

Either way YANBU to show a bit of human compassion.

MarkGruffalohohoho Wed 23-Jan-13 22:45:13

You were being a good samaritan. I picked up a male hitchhiker once who was equally grateful and surprised I stopped.

Well done you.

As for risk-taking yes there are inherent risks to helping anyone, male or female or indeed accepting help from anyone. But not all men are rapists and if you had helped out my DH to get home I would be incredibly grateful.

TheDetective Wed 23-Jan-13 22:45:34

I rescued an old man in a similar scenario. I was 24 weeks pregnant and his car was stopped outside my house on the main road. He looked distressed - he must have been in his 70's. The car was blocking the road, and people just going around him. I helped him push the car round the corner off the road, and then took him to the garage for petrol.

He was very grateful. I'd like to think someone would help me in the same situation.


BluelightsAndSirens Wed 23-Jan-13 22:46:32

grin @ sole

He was stranded the one and only petrol station within 10 miles is a set behind the local pub and they fill your car up for you.

DD (9) said "what if he is a bad man" I told her good karma for an adult will be paid back but children don't talk to strangers because that's my job grin

CointreauVersial Wed 23-Jan-13 22:47:04

The sad truth is that we are conditioned to believe that 99% of strangers are out to mug/rape/kill us.

It is worth being on your guard, but you did the right thing. Karma will pay you back, you know!

CointreauVersial Wed 23-Jan-13 22:47:39

grin Karma cross-post!

HollyBerryBush Wed 23-Jan-13 22:48:43

Why wouldn't anyone help anyone else in distress?

MrsKeithRichards Wed 23-Jan-13 22:49:25

Well done! Someone done something similar for dh once saved me getting out of bed to help him

baffleddad Wed 23-Jan-13 22:51:25

good on you!! ive always stopped to help a fellow motorist..helped several very pregnant ladies with flat tyres or batteries, once asked a lady broken down in the middle of nowhere if she needed help & got told to f off.. biggest mistake was to offer a lift to a chap with a guitar, we had gone 100 yards when he asked do i believe in god..... in nearly 30 years of motoring as a van truck car & tractor driver ive never murdered anyone...... yet;)

BluelightsAndSirens Wed 23-Jan-13 22:53:57

worra sorry I didn't see the recent posts.

I questioned the male v female part especially as I ran put of petrol with a newborn in the back and no one helped me.

Apparently you must not stop and help men out because they are so male and organised the only reason they would allow themselves to run out of petrol is because they hope a vulnerable ickle women like me will offer help and then the fun can begin hmm

Think of the children! If we all stop helping those we see in need what will become of the world <wails>

SanityClause Wed 23-Jan-13 23:06:09

My DH is far more likely to be in need of your assistance than I am, because he hates filling a car up with fuel, so he will drive on fumes for miles.

Then, I get in the car, and realise it needs fuel, and make sure I get some, as soon as possible.

So, I will thank you for looking out for men like my DH, and hope that when if it happens to him, there will be someone like you around!

LanaDelRain Wed 23-Jan-13 23:08:40

No that's a lovely thing to do.

Sometimes you need to be aware though that it could be a scam. I remember seeing on The Real Hustle, they pretended to break down (in a rented car), people stopped to help them and then the hustlers stole their car.

BluelightsAndSirens Wed 23-Jan-13 23:12:18

holly I think people are being more selfish as years go by.

I help when ever I can from people falling in the street to crying people, a tissue or offer of mobile can be a good send.

My Dh is the complete opposite although now after many years together he has learnt that it is easier to pullover before I start moaning that he needs to turn round.

Last one was a lad who had crashed his dads car n a country lane, he was in shock and I gave him a hug whilst we Waited for help to arrive.

DC and Dh were sat on the car giving mums in help mode to randoms look smile

kim147 Wed 23-Jan-13 23:12:28

Last year I was driving down a dark country road at night. A car was pulled over and it flashed its lights. I drove past and checked from the window. It was a girl about 17 / 18. She had broken down on the way to a village near me. And her mobile had run out of power.

I lent her my mobile and waited till her brother arrived.

Last week, I learnt that someone had had their car stolen in a similar incident at a staged accident on the same dark road sad

But I'm glad I stopped to help that girl. And I bet you're glad you helped the person who ran out of fuel. It makes the world a better place.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 23:12:42

It was a loverly thing to do and has made my dat.

However, a general safety point is to stay in your car and not let them into yours while you help. This shouldn't be a problem with someone who is not a crook! grin

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 23:14:16

@kim how awful for that girl. and How wonderful you saw her and not after you ehad about that staged accident.

I had a friend refused help after being robbed by a group of men on motorbikes last week in a local shop as they had previously be scammed by people claiming they needed help sad

BluelightsAndSirens Wed 23-Jan-13 23:18:04

Hustlers can have my car as long as

A they realise screaming children are a distraction

B traka will start to hunt them down within seconds

C I would always pop my keys after locking my car into my pocket when stopping and needing to get out of my car.

I didn't get out of the car once btw.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 23:20:50

Keeping your keys in your pocket is a great point and one I will keep in mind. Thanks OP.

What's traka? iPhones are quite good in this situation the policeman told me whan my friend was in trouble and said to make sure you download that app that lets you track it, as that can lead to the crime being dealt with straightaway or dropped to the end of the pile (not that he worded it quite like that).

LanaDelRain Wed 23-Jan-13 23:20:57

Then I shouldn't worry about it Bluelights you sound very clued up about potential risks smile

I know a friend once drove by someone just lying on the side of the road, it was in a wooded area too, she stopped to help and turns out they were just drunk.

It never entered her head how dangerous it could be.

IamtheZombie Wed 23-Jan-13 23:24:34

Last summer, Zombie had a flat tyre on her way to hospital for her radiotherapy appointment. She managed to wrestle the spare and bits & bobs out of the boot before realising that 4 months of chemo and 2 weeks of radio had left her in no condition to complete the job.

So, there's this bald lady standing by her disabled car at the side of the road and not one single sod even slowed down, much less offered to help.

Luckily the mobile phone had a bit of charge left in it and she was able to get in touch with the school and they let DZoH leave to come rescue her.

BluelightsAndSirens Wed 23-Jan-13 23:35:07

Oh zombie sadi just can't comprehend people passing and not helping sad have a double.

Maybe it is just built in me, I've piled in tp stop fights in my distant past.

I just wondered f others felt like me because my good friends dont.

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 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

The Police apparently had a stern word as he was loaded into the ambulance...

That one was particularly upsetting for DH as he has a permanent injury to his knee from being hit by a car when he was cycling himself, so to be accused in that way was galling. I'm glad he still stops though - he's a first aider including paediatric and utterly calm in a crisis (Aspergers for the win in this situation! )

frumpet Thu 24-Jan-13 17:57:29

I would of done the same OP . I remember once when in my early 20's , picking up three male hitchhikers at the same time from beside the M1 . I drove them all as far as sheffield from near Watford . Funny thing was one of them kept going on about how silly it was of me to pick up strange men and then ate all my mints , bloody students !

maddening Thu 24-Jan-13 18:04:51

If I was with another bod I would help

Eg - a man was stranded in a broken down car in a middle lane of a major junction (5 lanes and traffic lights etc) so I pulled up behind him with hazards and sent df to push him to the side and I followed to protect them - every one was piling round him as it was causing chaos.

But would be wary on my own - I have a tow rope so I might have stayed in my car and let him hook it up to tow him to the garage.

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