All women, whether single or married, often find themselves driving alone while commuting to work during the day or late at night or just picking up their kids from school. All motorists must be cautious, but female drivers need to be extra alert in order to avoid becoming a victim of crime. With the rising crime rate, women drivers are more at risk to cases of carjacking, sexual assault, robbery and more. Sometimes, taking advantage of their good intentions, criminals can even fool them into a sticky situation. It’s important for women drivers to remain cautious and alert to ensure they reach their destination safely. There are many ways in which women drivers can protect themselves while driving alone. The following tips will ensure they are safe and secure. And, always try to act as smartly as possible and follow your survival instinct to make sure you don’t get into the headline of the next day’s newspapers.
Keep the car well serviced
A well maintained car is your first line of defence. Give your car what it needs and it will go a long way in keeping you away from trouble. Always check if you have enough fuel in your car before starting the journey. A poorly maintained vehicle can break down and leave you stranded at the worst possible time. Check the batteries coolant and wheels regularly. Practice changing the tyres at home — the faster you learn, the lesser will be the chances of you being harassed on the road. Subscribe to emergency breakdown services and call them in case your car is giving trouble while on the road.
Be careful while parking
It is high you stop playing the spoilt girl who can't do parallel parking. It's for your own good to park in a well-lit spot where other vehicles are parked rather than in a remote spot with few cars around. Also, make sure to take the key out before you step out. Don’t park next to large vehicles, windowless vans, vehicles with tinted windows or trucks. Potential attackers could be hiding in them and sensing an opportunity they just might try to grab and pull you in and no one would see them. Also, make sure all the doors are locked once you get in.
Secure your car
You never leave your house unlocked or even the windows open. Your car is your house on wheels, so make sure all the windows are rolled up and the doors locked. Do this as soon as you step inside the vehicle – you can touch-up your makeup or check the phone later. Most of us often forget to check the passenger doors and windows. Before embarking on your journey make sure all passenger doors and windows are secured properly. If not done, they can prove to be a risk.
Play your music system at a low volume so that you can hear outside sound while driving. Also don’t check for messages or make calls at every traffic signal. Carjackers and robbers tend to sneak upon you, so keep your eyes and ears peeled on the immediate surroundings of your car. Also, scan the road ahead and behind in the rear-view mirror constantly to avoid any kind of surprises.
Don’t take the same route
Remember to change the route to your office, home, gym or the mall often if you commute during late hours. Also, avoid leaving at the same time every day. If there is no alternative route to your desired destination, bring a friend along or stopover at a friend or family member’s place to break the pattern. Also plan your route before you begin driving and have the directions ready whenever you’re going to some place new. Install a GPS system in your car as it allows tracking and gives you precise location in case you are lost. This small investment could save your life.
What to do when chased
Make sure you have the emergency numbers on speed dial. Dial the police or their women’s first and tell them exactly where you are and which way you’re headed. Drive to the nearest police station (you need to know this beforehand), hospital emergency entrance (armed guards are usually posted there) or any other crowded market place where you can get help immediately. In case, you are being followed do not stop even if it means jumping a traffic signal or turning into a crowded road.
Avoid road rage
Do you have a bad temper? Well, leave it behind at home. If someone tries to overtake from the wrong side or honking constantly in order to get your attention, let them go without engaging. Don’t react to the stupidity of others; the last thing you want is to pick a fight on the road.
Don't play the saviour
Everyone should help others when possible. But it’s not a good idea to stop to help someone when you are alone. If someone approaches you for directions in slow or stationary traf?c, leave it to others to help — you are not the only saviour of the person in distress. Do not stop for a single person or even a couple if you see their car broken down. if you really want to help the lone person call the breakdown service. Don’t pull over if someone tries to stops you, and never give a ride to strangers, even if they look ‘genuine’.
Keep someone informed
Let someone know where you are. When driving at night inform a friend or a family member when you are leaving and around what time you are expected to reach your destination. Often, when a person goes missing, no one has a clue where she is. if you are going to be away for more than a few hours, inform or friend or family members about your route and your tentative timetable.
Don’t fall for old tricks
It’s important not to switch on the wipers if someone throws an egg at the windshield. Also, don’t try to reach out for a pamphlet placed on the windshield. Another common trick is that while one member of the gang distracts you, others lie in wait to grab you the moment you step out to check if all is well. In such cases, ignore and drive away; you can always check later.
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