Whether you've accidentally locked your keys inside your car or have lost your keys altogether, being stranded without your car keys can be stressful. Things can be especially dicey if you're in an unfamiliar area or it's late at night. By knowing what to do (and what not to do) during a vehicle lockout, you can keep yourself safe and get the help you need to get back on the road.

Do: Call an Emergency Locksmith

Emergency locksmiths are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you get back into your car. Just be aware that you'll need to provide proof of your vehicle ownership in order to use these services, so having your driver's license and insurance card on you can expedite the process. If you've lost your keys entirely, a locksmith can typically make you a new one (or at least a temporary one) on-site.

Don't: Accept Help From Strangers

Before you get off the phone with your emergency locksmith, be sure to ask for a description of the locksmith that will be reporting to your location, as well as their vehicle type. In the meantime, don't accept any help from strangers, even if they seem well-meaning.

Do: Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Safety is always a concern when you're locked out of your car, particularly if you're stranded somewhere unsafe or are alone. This is why it's important to be especially aware of your surroundings when you're locked out of your car. If there are any busy stores open nearby, you may want to consider waiting there until help arrives. If you don't have anywhere safe to wait or feel otherwise uncomfortable, don't hesitate to call the police. Some officers carry lockout kits — and at the very least, an officer will be able to wait with you until help arrives.

Don't: Overlook Reimbursement Options

Locksmith services can easily cost $100 or more, so it's a good idea to explore reimbursement options from your auto insurance company. Some auto insurance policies include coverage or reimbursement for lockouts and even re-keying services, so it's worth looking into.

Being locked out of your car can be a stress-inducing experience, but the good news is that an experienced locksmith is always on-call to help. From there, you can get your car opened and keys remade as needed. In no time, you'll be back on the road again.

For more information, contact a local locksmith.