Driving alone can be awesome. Where else can you practice your exceptional singing skills without judgement? Unfortunately, driving alone can also be a little dangerous, especially for women – sigh.
I happen to spend a lot of alone-time in my car – commuting of course – otherwise I’m very popular 😉 But the repetitive daily action of driving to and fro has fostered an unintentional disregard for certain safety precautions, which I’m sure is true for many drivers out there. This is not good.
So, for all those reading, here is a little refresher on safety. Be sure to pass it on to all the women in your life:
Before you enter your car
- Keep your vehicle in good repair and check your fluids and tire pressure regularly
- Get in the habit of filling up when you still have 1/2 tank of gas instead of waiting until the light comes on (I really need to work on this).
- If you will be leaving after dark, park in an area that is well lit and always lock your vehicle every time you get out.
- Be ready before you reach your vehicle. Have your keys in your hand when you are walking to your car. If you are in an unsafe area, pre-dial 9-1-1 on your cell phone before walking to your car.
- If you feel like you’ve been followed out to your car or suspect someone is hiding in or near it, quickly move away and get help. If you have a panic button, use it.
While in your car
- Lock your car doors once you are inside and keep the windows up whenever possible. Also be alert for things going on around you when you are stopped at traffic lights.
- Keep valuables out of sight – don’t leave valuable items, such as your handbag, laptop or mobile phone on the passenger seat.
- Keep moving – try to avoid stopping in unfamiliar areas, and never stop for anyone who flashes you from behind or pulls alongside you pointing at your tires. Find somewhere well-lit and safe, like a gas station or fast food restaurant to get directions or check your vehicle.
- If you are inside of your vehicle and sense trouble, honk your horn repeatedly to get others’ attention.
- If you are rear-ended, do not get out of your car unless you are in a safe, public area. A thief may bump you on purpose, wait for you to get out of your car and then rob you. If you are on an isolated road and get bumped, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you do not have a cell phone, continue driving to a public area where you know others are present. If the accident is legitimate, the driver who hit you should follow to discuss the accident.
If you become stranded
- Do not get out of your car. Keep the window rolled up and doors locked.
- Call for help
- Be wary of strangers. There are a lot of good Samaritans, but it’s best to veer on the safe side. If someone pulls over and offers to help, roll the window down a crack and let them know help is on the way or ask them to call if you haven’t already.
- If you are threatened or harassed while waiting in your car, call 911 for further assistance. Honk the horn repeatedly and flash the lights to attract the attention of other motorists.
- Do not stop to help a stranded driver, call assistance for them.
Think you’re being followed
- If you think that you are being followed, do not drive home. You do not want this person to know where you live. Instead, go to the nearest safe, well-lit place and call 9-1-1.
- Try to obtain the licence plate number of the vehicle following you, as well as make, model, colour and description of the driver