– DEAR TOM AND RAY: My husband was driving our Yukon on the highway (cruise control set on 70) when he passed out.

He was in the left-hand lane of four lanes, so I reached over and turned off the ignition and steered to the left shoulder, and then to the grassy median (I never realized how far a car can travel without the motor on!).

I finally drove into a large road sign that dipped down and then back up, causing the car to finally stop. Then I took my seat belt off and called 911.

Did I mention that I was screaming at my husband the whole time? (I thought he was dying.)

My question for you: Was there anything else I could have or should have done? Needless to say, I will never forget this experience.

Thanks for all the great info and entertainment you give to all of us “non-pro” drivers! — Jimmie Jo

RAY: Well, the first thing you should do is make sure your husband never listens to our radio show again. He obviously has a hard time staying awake as it is.

TOM: You did very well under the circumstances, Jimmie Jo. So congratulations for keeping your wits about you and getting the vehicle to a safe stop. Great job.

RAY: For next time (which we hope there isn’t), we’ll give you a few better alternatives.

TOM: Turning off the engine isn’t our first choice — either for a medical emergency like this or for unintended acceleration. When you turn off the engine, you lose your power brakes and power steering. That can make it harder to control the car — especially from the passenger seat.

RAY: So, in a case where you’re on a highway and you have plenty of room to stop, you should reach over and shift the transmission into neutral. That’ll allow the car to eventually roll to a stop, but will allow you to steer easily.

TOM: And you can stay on the shoulder (or in your lane if you have to) until you’re almost stopped, and then pull off and put the car in park.

RAY: If you need to slow the car more quickly, there are several other options. If the car has a hand brake between the seats, use that first. If it doesn’t, depending upon how dexterous you are, you can try to reach your left foot into the driver’s wheel well and apply the brake.

TOM: And if neither of those is an option, you can slam the transmission into the lowest gear, and that’ll slow the car more quickly than if you were just coasting in neutral.

RAY: But in a case like yours, where you have room to coast, just put the vehicle in neutral and steer the car until it coasts to a stop. Then put it in park, and then turn off the engine.

TOM: We trust that by now your husband has recovered, and that you’ve figured out what caused him to lose consciousness.

RAY: If not, you’ll want to take away the keys until you’re sure he can reliably remain conscious. He was lucky to have a quick-thinking wife by his side this time, and lucky to be on an open stretch of highway. But driving while unconscious is not something we recommend he try again. Good luck to you guys, Jimmie Jo.

DEAR TOM AND RAY: My fiance is an auto mechanic working at a dealership. He owns his tools. Now, here’s the rub: His current marriage has not yet been dissolved, as they say, and his soon-to-be ex is claiming an excessively high value for his tools. I understand that they should be valued at fair market value, and not replacement cost. Do you guys have any suggestions for him on how he can accurately value the tools? — Julie

TOM: So she’s claiming the tools are worth, say, $100,000. And she wants him to give her $50,000, right?

RAY: Right. And he’s convinced the tools are worth less than that. Plus, he doesn’t have 50 grand.

TOM: So, where do you get a realistic appraisal for the tools? Well, the fair market value of the tools is what someone is willing to pay for them. So what you have to do is go online and find out what a similar collection of tools is selling for, including the toolbox.

RAY: You won’t be able to make an exact comparison, since every collection of tools is different, but by finding several comparable tool sets for sale, you can home in on a ballpark estimate of what they’re worth, and have some documented evidence to support your claim. And remember, those are asking prices. What the tools actually sell for could be less.

TOM: The other option is to ask a knowledgeable tool seller to make an assessment for you. If the tools are Matco, for instance, your fiance can ask his Matco representative to give him a formal, written assessment of what he thinks the tools are worth today on the retail market.

RAY: And because we know (and she knows) you’ll be slipping him a C-note to lowball the value, you can invite the soon-to-be ex to have another tool dealer of her choice do an independent assessment. If the numbers are within reason, you can average them, and voila!

TOM: If you can’t come to a reasonable agreement on what the tools are worth, and the soon-to-be ex continues to insist they’re worth, say, $100,000, and you’re convinced that’s crazy, then you can always say to her, “OK, you take the tools and write me a check for 50 grand.” Then you can go the Internet a week later and offer her 50 grand for them. Good luck, Julie.

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