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  1. Default CB Radio Useful?

    Hi all,

    Just wondering if I should bother looking into getting a CB radio for emergency purposes, if my cell phone is out of range and I need help? Would I be mistaken in thinking it's the sort of thing I could just plug in and say "I need help" across trucker channels... Or would this be risky in itself. Meh, now that I read that, probably the latter... At least as risky as standing out beside the truck and trying to flag people down?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default One Man's Opinion

    I have close to a million miles under my tires, and in 40-odd years of driving I have only used CB for a very specific purpose, and that was talking to other vehicles on multi-van geologic field trips well off the road and off the grid. On those occasions, when we were on the road, we quickly either found an unused channel or turned the CBs off entirely. With today's cell phone coverage, particularly along the Interstates, there is rarely a time when you will not have a link. All that being said, yes, I suppose it is possible to break down on a little used road somewhere that will not have cell coverage. And I suppose that it is possible that there might be someone within a few miles of you (a CB's range) that has a CB, is monitoring channel 9 or 19, and could call for or render assistance. But that's a pretty iffy set of circumstances. I think I'd put my worry and effort into seeing that my trip went safely rather than into an item with a relatively low probability of usefulness.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default "Call for Police" banner

    I know this were advised in the past for people to put in their back windows. If you should have car problems where you have no cell service, hopefully a nice person will call for help for you when they've gone up the road a ways and found service. I know I have done that myself a couple of times over the years. In one case, they had such a banner and, apparently, I was about the 50th person to call. In the other case, I was the first (or only?) one to call. The people didn't have a banner but they were really old and I speculated that they might not even have a cell phone. (I know my parents didn't until we added them to our family plan and forced them to have one in their cars.)

    Anyway, that might be helpful. But if you are on a road that is fairly well traveled, I would think that a state patrol or sheriff would come by eventually and stop to see if you have a problem. No banner needed.

    Quite a few years ago, when I was still a teen driver, I was on an out-of-town trip with friends and we were having so much fun I forgot to check my gas gauge. This was way before they had the beep to warn you when you got to a certain level. It was about midnight on a relatively-little traveled stretch of interstate. Then we made the mistake of listening to some talk radio program where they were telling ghost stories. Oh, man....we were so spooked. I think we sat there for about an hour when a state patrol officer came along and stopped to see what the problem was. He gave me a gallon or so to get me to a gas station.

    In hindsight, it was really kinda fun. :)

  4. Default

    Thanks! No CB needed... I kinda figured as much, but if it was worthwhile I'd have invested in it. I think by the sounds of it there are better things to spend my money on. :)

    Most of my travels will be on interstates, and by the time I get OFF the interstate chances are I'm so close to my destination that if I do break down I'll just walk the rest of the way and come back and get my truck in the morning.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default I never leave home without one!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayar View Post
    Thanks! No CB needed...
    I never embark on a road trip without one. It is an essential piece of gear for me. More information here.

    Mark

  6. #6

    Default Road conditions

    Jayar,

    I prefer to have a CB on board, but not primarily for emergency communications. I'm a map geek (and a reformed geologist with many a undergraduate field trip van mile on my personal odometer, AZBuck), so I've always got a detailed map book with me. I'm also chronically impatient with traffic backups. As a result, SOP for me is to have the CB turned on to Channel 19, but low enough that it doesn't bother me. If I hear talk about a traffic back up or see one in front of me, I'll jump on the radio and find out how far this bottleneck goes and make a quick decision as to whether to get off at the next exit and navigate around it. There's nothing that grates on me more than waiting through a 6 mile stop and roll around an accident site when there's a simple combination of side roads which will lead me around it.

    Foy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default And the other reason I have one....

    Just about all CB models have built-in NOAA weather forecast chipsets and so I carry the radios for that purpose as well.

    I too, use the radio as a way of bypassing accident scenes.

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Good use!

    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    I'm also chronically impatient with traffic backups. As a result, SOP for me is to have the CB turned on to Channel 19, but low enough that it doesn't bother me. If I hear talk about a traffic back up or see one in front of me, I'll jump on the radio and find out how far this bottleneck goes and make a quick decision as to whether to get off at the next exit and navigate around it. There's nothing that grates on me more than waiting through a 6 mile stop and roll around an accident site when there's a simple combination of side roads which will lead me around it.
    The NOAA info also makes a CB worthy of consideration but knowing when and how to go around a back-up....man, I never thought of that. It would be worth the price if this only saves me from one unnecessary wait in traffic a year! OK, I'm convinced.

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