A Wasp in the Car and Other Emergencies
A wasp in the car
No-one likes wasps. OK, they do a bit of pollination and all that, but when they turn up, you brace for trouble, right? Bracing for trouble when you’re doing 70mph on the motorway isn’t quite the same as using a napkin to bat your stripy nemesis away from your lemonade, though. If a wasp enters your car cabin while you’re driving, you should start to slow your car down and look for somewhere to pull over.
Don’t make any sudden movements or even think about swatting your unwelcome passenger because you’ll almost certainly miss, distract yourself and incur the wrath of the wasp. Leave your window open, as it might simply fly back out, and aim for the first safe place to pull over and park. If you know you have a wasp or bee allergy, you should already have your EpiPen with you within easy reach. The chances are, however, as long as you remain calm and make no sudden movements, the insect won’t cause you any trouble.
Your passenger chokes on food
Ideally, no-one should be eating in your car, especially not you, the driver. Your children might love the idea of sitting in the back seats scoffing sweets and sausage rolls, but items like boiled sweets and lumps of meat are among the most common causes of choking. Try to restrict in-car dining to soft drinks or (for younger children) puree pouches and make regular stops at service stations to eat solid foods.
If the worst happens and one of your passengers starts to choke, do NOT try to help them while you’re driving. You must hit the hazard lights and pull over ASAP in order to help your passenger safely and without endangering other road users and yourselves. If possible, call 999 before you start any procedures on your passenger and, if it’s safe, get yourself and the passenger onto the roadside as this makes it easier for you and the emergency services (if they attend) to help the passenger.
A child escapes their car seat
Some children just don’t like being restrained in their car seat and turn into mini-Houdinis on longer journeys, unbuckling their straps or slipping out of their bonds. Not only is this a big distraction for you as the driver, as your child might be bouncing around in the cabin, grabbing your seat or annoying their siblings, but it’s also dangerous if you are in a collision as their unsecured body becomes a potentially deadly projectile. Not great.
It’s especially not great if you’re along the motorway when Little Junior announces their latest jailbreak. As with most in-car emergencies, remaining calm is the key. Reduce your driving speed slowly and look for the first exit so you can park safely, get out of the car and put your child back in the car seat. You might be tempted to pull onto the hard shoulder, but as you’ll need to get out of the car, you’re actually safer driving to a refuge or a service station.