General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

What happens if there's an emergency while driving with no cell reception?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (11657points) February 9th, 2019

I’ve been thinking about this possibility lately. There are a lot of dead zones where I live. The weather isn’t great and even when it is, plenty of deer like to jump out in front of me while I’m driving. So far, I’ve avoided any accidents, flat tires, etc. But what happens if I end up needing to call for help in a dead zone? Are there any services that would always work whether your cell phone gets service or not (such as OnStar)?

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13 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

All is good if you have a satellite phone. Is expensive, but you can buy if you need.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 Where would I get one of those? Does it have a phone plan? I’ve never heard of a satellite phone.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Nevermind the satellite phone. Those are more employed by adventurers (like mountain climbers), aid workers in disaster areas, war zones, etc, and on seafaring vessels.

Services like GM’s OnStar and Ford’s Sync might not provide voice communication specifically, but in the event of an emergency can relay information such as your location (via GPS coordinates) to an emergency center where they will dispatch someone to you.

kritiper's avatar

You wait until the next car comes by and hope they stop.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Not recommending these people as I’ve never used a Sat phone; but a quick search to get you started…

Phones themselves can be quite pricey; but in an emergency, well worth the cost!!!

janbb's avatar

In the old days, like about 15 years ago, you would wait in your car with your flashers on until a helpful stranger came by and stopped. If you don’t trust them, don’t get out of your car but ask them to phone for help or stop at a gas station or police station for you.

This scenario happened for many years before cell phones were invented.

rebbel's avatar

If you have an Android phone, and a Google account (no idea how and if this works in iOS) there’s an option where you can let someone else know your whereabouts (I think in the Maps app).
This works, as far as I understand, through GPS.
If you don’t make it to the destination in the ETA your spouse/loved one can see what is your latest position.
And act on it.

seawulf575's avatar

I guess you could always do what they did in the days before cell phones. You flag someone down or go to the nearest house/business to get help.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

To all who suggested waiting or walking, I live in the middle of nothing and nowhere. On these roads, there aren’t many houses and you’re lucky to see any cars for quite sometime. It’s mostly semi trucks if anything. It’s very secluded and creepy. I would be walking several miles to any homes and I’d likely have 3 kids with me. Obviously I’d do what it took in an emergency but I was hoping for a solution like something that worked even without signal.

@rebbel I’ll have to check into that.

MrGrimm888's avatar

If possible, keep a little emergency supplies in your vehicle. Like a thick blanket (if in a cold place,) a stash of a few days of energy bars, the ability to make fire, a gallon of water, etc. Stuff that would be important if suddenly trapped in your climate.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Good idea. I’ll definitely get some supplies.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I would recommend some water proof matches. Break and shake glow sticks are great too. They don’t take up much space, and don’t have batteries that can go bad. A multi-tool might come in handy too. If you’re in a cold area, a thick pair of gloves, and socks would be wise.

Always try to think several steps ahead. Imagine yourself in a situation, and what you might need to survive a few days.

If you’re going to travel somewhere in extreme conditions, tell someone where you are going, when you expect to reach your destination, and which route you plan on taking. That could go a long way towards reducing your time stranded.

scarecrowandtinman's avatar

use your flashers on your car.

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