Sadly we live in a world where we need to consider our safety when we are out and about, particularly when we are driving alone. Here are a few tips on how to make sure you stay safe on the road: –
Plan your trips – make sure you mapped out the route you’re traveling on to avoid getting lost or having to stop in awkward places. Don’t drive in the dark if you are not familiar with the surroundings. It is also a good habit to always let someone know of your whereabouts to ensure your own safety should you need help sent to you.
Make use of technology – install a personal safety app on your phone in case you need emergency assistance while traveling alone. Make sure your phone is charged as you will need it to get help should anything happen to you.
Always be alert – take note of your surroundings When parking, always park in a well-lit parking area with frequent movement from other shoppers or security personnel. Don’t linger around in your car at any time – this makes you vulnerable. It is also wise to be conscious and aware of landmarks as it may come in handy should you need to inform someone of your whereabouts.
Keep your car well maintained – a well maintained car is less likely to break down or give you problems. Keep your car in good mechanical condition and have it serviced regularly, especially if you frequently drive alone. It will also be wise to learn how to do some DIY maintenance like changing a tyre. Also, make sure your car insurance covers you for roadside assistance.
Don’t stop for just anyone – with all the lurking dangers, you simply can’t just trust anyone. Be aware of police impersonators, hitchhikers and “stranded motorists”. If a police vehicle tries to pull you over and you feel unsafe, acknowledge them and indicate that you wish to be followed. Don’t ever assume that an unmarked vehicle with flashing lights is a police car. An unmarked police car can stop vehicles, but it must contain a constable who MUST be in uniform to carry out the stop. If a car flashing for you to pull over or stop is unmarked, unless you are 100% certain it is the police, do not stop. Drive steadily to the nearest public place (for example a petrol station where they are open till late, a police station or somewhere there are a lot of people) and then stop. If you are in a relatively deserted area, as a last resort, consider looking for a house that is obviously occupied and pull into the driveway. You can always apologise to the householder afterwards. Try and signal that you have acknowledged the request to stop and indicate the action you are taking (put your flashers on or signal by pointing from the driver’s window etc.). Don’t drive off at great speed making the police think you are trying to get away. Keep the doors locked until you are happy it is the police. Have your mobile at hand just in case. You can ask to see a warrant card, which should carry the police officer’s name and photograph, through the closed window.
Fill up – make sure you have enough fuel to get to your destination.
Keep your valuables out of sight – the last thing you want is to attract chance’s and becoming a smash-and-grab victim. Don’t leave your handbag, purse, phone etc. in plain sight as this will make you more of a target.