In theory, you would think that fewer people would be locking their keys in their cars these days. Most people do, after all, have so-called “smart keys” that they use to control the locks in their cars.
But in reality, there are still so many Americans locking their keys in their cars in spite of this. About 4 million people do it each year, and it doesn’t appear as though that number is going to go down anytime soon.
If so, you might not know what to do next. It can put you in a very difficult position.
Fortunately, there are some pretty simple steps you can take to get back into your car. Find out about them below and start putting them to good use right away.
Start by Staying as Calm as You Can
When you first realize, “I locked my keys in my car!”, you’re going to be tempted to panic. It can be a nerve-racking experience for a lot of people.
But rather than freaking out and temporarily losing your mind, you should do whatever it takes to stay as calm as you can. You can do this by stepping away from your car, taking a few deep breaths, and then thinking about what your next move is going to be.
If you’re unable to stay calm after you realize your car keys are locked in the car, you could very well end up making a bad situation worse. You’re not going to be doing yourself any favors if you work yourself into a tizzy.
Check Your Car Doors to See If Any of Them Are Unlocked
Once you’ve calmed yourself down after realizing, “I can’t get into my car,” the next thing you’re going to want to do is walk around the perimeter of your vehicle to see if any of your doors might be unlocked.
In this day and age, most people will lock all their doors at once with the push of a button. As a result, there’s going to be a good chance that you’re not going to find any of your doors unlocked.
But, who knows? Someone who was driving with you in your car may have unlocked one of the doors without you realizing it. Or you yourself may have unlocked a door before getting out of it.
With a little luck, you’ll be able to get back into your car when you’re “locked out” just by trying to open a door that you don’t usually use. This will be a best-case scenario for you.
Look to See If Any of Your Windows Might Be Open
While you’re in the process of walking around the outside of your car to see if any doors are unlocked, you should look at all your windows as well. Are any of them open enough to allow you to reach in and unlock your doors?
Most people make it a point to close up all their windows before getting out of their cars. But just like with your doors, there is always a chance you or someone else may have opened up a window and forgotten to close it before getting out of the car.
If you can find a window open, it’ll provide you with another very easy way to get back into a car when you’re “locked out.” You won’t have to worry about calling someone and screaming, “I locked my keys in my car! Come help!”
Consider Breaking a Window to Get Into Your Car in Certain Situations
More often than not, you’re not going to want to even consider the idea of breaking one of your car’s windows to get back into it when you’re locked out. It’s going to cost a nice chunk of change to replace a broken window in your car later on.
You may, however, want to consider breaking one of the windows in your car to get back into it in certain situations. For example, if you locked an infant or a young child in your car and it’s hot outside, you’re going to want to get back into your car ASAP to let them out.
Every year, there are dozens of children who die in hot cars after being left there by their parents. You should steer clear of having this happen to your child by breaking a window if you get locked out of your car.
You might also want to do this if you accidentally lock a pet in your car on a hot day. Although you’ll have to pay to replace a broken window, it’ll be well worth the cost.
Think About If You Have a Spare Car Key Stashed Somewhere
If you’re 100% sure that you’re locked out of your car and breaking a window is not a viable option for you because of the cost associated with it, then you’re going to have to find another solution for getting back into it. Tracking down a spare car key is going to be the first thing you should try to do.
Most cars come with at least two keys. You should carry one around with you when you’re driving and leave the other one at home in a safe spot. This will make it easy for you to retrieve the key if you ever lock yourself out of your car.
If your car came with a spare key and you know where it is, you should call someone to go and get it for you. Ideally, you’ll have a spouse, a roommate, or someone else who can go to your home, get the key, and then bring it out to you so that you can unlock your car and climb back into it.
Look Up the Name of a Local Locksmith
Don’t have a spare key for your car? Or don’t have anyone around to bring it to you?
This might leave you feeling a little bit hopeless. You might not know what in the world you’re going to do next when you don’t seem to have any other way to get back into your car.
But the good news is that there is another great option for you. You can touch base with a local locksmith in your area and say, “I locked my keys in my car” or “I can’t find my car keys,” and have them come out to your current location to help.
Now, to be clear, you shouldn’t trust just any old locksmith to lend a helping hand to you. You should look for one of the best locksmiths in the business to set you up with automotive locksmith services.
In a perfect world, you should spend 10 minutes or so Googling the names of different local locksmiths and seeing what they’re all about. The one that you choose should have:
- A wealth of locksmithing experience
- A variety of automotive locksmith services
- The ability to come out and help you at any time of the day or night
- Fair and affordable prices
You may be tempted to rely on the first locksmith you can find. But instead of doing this, you should locate the right locksmith for the job.
With more than 20,000 locksmith companies in the U.S. right now, you should be able to find a great one in your area sooner or later. It’ll be worth the time and effort that you put into it.
Stay in a Safe Place While You Wait for a Locksmith to Show Up
A good locksmith should be able to make their way out to your location within just 30 minutes or so. They shouldn’t force you to wait around for hours on end for them to show up (if they tell you they’re going to have to do this, find a different locksmith!).
But even still, you’re probably going to have to wait for a little while for a locksmith to arrive. During this time, you should attempt to make your way to someplace safe.
If you’re close to a store, a restaurant, or another commercial establishment, go in and ask if they would mind if you wait there. They’ll most likely say yes and allow you to hang out for a little while as you wait for your locksmith to show up.
If you’re not close to a commercial establishment, try to make your way to a well-lit area where there are other people around. It’ll be your safest option in many cases while you wait for your locksmith.
If nothing else, call a family member or friend on the phone and let them know about the predicament you’re in. They’ll be more than happy to keep you company for a little bit as you wait for your locksmith.
Stand By as a Locksmith Gets You Back Into Your Car
After a locksmith arrives at your location, they’ll give you a call to let you know that they’re there. They’ll then look for your car and park next to it so that they can get to work right away.
Some people are under the impression that getting back into a locked car is going to take a long time and a lot of creativity. But most of the time, a locksmith is going to be able to unlock a locked car within a matter of just a few minutes, if not a few seconds.
An automotive locksmith is also going to be able to assist you if you tell them, “I lost my car keys.” They’ll be able to use their tools and their expertise to create new car keys for you.
You’ll be so glad that you took the time to contact a locksmith for help once you see how helpful they can be. They’ll have you back behind the wheel of your car in no time at all and melt away all of the stress that you were feeling when you first realized you were locked out of your car.
Figure Out a Way to Avoid Locking Yourself Out of Your Car Again
Once you go through the process of getting back into your car after locking yourself out, you’re going to want to make sure you don’t ever have to do it again. It’s not a fun experience for anyone, to say the least.
There are some steps you can take to avoid locking yourself out of your car again. Here are some of the things that you can do:
- Always keep your car keys either in your hand or in your pocket when you’re getting in and out of your car
- Replace the batteries in smart car keys as often as you can to keep them fresh
- Have a spare car key made if you don’t have one already (and consider making more than one if you can afford to do it!)
You should also try to slow yourself down when you’re getting out of your car. People are in such a rush these days that it’s not uncommon at all for them to jump out of their cars without giving their keys a second thought.
By being more mindful about your car keys, you can dramatically reduce the chances of you getting locked out of your car at any point.
When You Find Yourself Saying, “I Locked My Keys in My Car,” Put These Tips to the Test
It’s easy to lose your cool when you first realize, “I locked my keys in my car.” Within just a few seconds, you might have a full-on panic attack because of it.
You can avoid this by staying as calm as you can and testing out the tips found here. These tips are designed to make it easier for you to get back into your locked car in a hurry.
If you need the help of a locksmith, we would love to help you out. We offer all the automotive locksmith services that you’ll need. We also offer a wide range of other locksmith services, including services for home and business owners.
Contact us today if you would like a hand getting back into a locked car.