Your personal safety is of utmost importance and hopefully you will never be a victim of crime. However, it is always worth thinking about how you would act in different situation and what you can do to protect yourself.
Becoming a victim of crime while driving is rare, however it can happen. There are a number of simple ways to help keep you safe:
- Keep your car in good condition and make sure you have enough fuel to complete your journey.
- Keep doors locked when driving.
- Keep bags, phones and other valuables out of sight (preferably in the boot).
- Park in well-lit or busy areas whenever possible. If you park during the day, think about what the area will feel like after dark
- Consider joining a breakdown organisation for added security.
Below are additional measures you can take, dependent on the circumstances.
- Make sure your mobile phone is charged before you set off and invest in an ‘in-car’ charger.
- Always let someone know where you are going.
- Plan your route and take a map to avoid asking strangers for directions.
- Take money with you for emergency phone calls and consider carrying a phone card.
- Take the details of your breakdown organisation and membership number.
- Keep doors locked and handbags and valuables out of view.
- Never pick up hitchhikers. Only give lifts to people you know well.
- Do not stop if someone tries to flag you down.
- If you need air, only wind your window down a little so nobody can reach in while you are stopped in traffic.
- Keep your mobile out of sight and do not use it while driving.
- Avoid eye contact with aggressive or suspicious drivers.
- If you are forced to stop, keep your engine running and make sure you have enough room to drive away.
- If a driver gets out and approaches you, flash your lights and sound your horn. If you have an alarm, set it off.
It can be a frightening experience if your car breaks down on the motorway or at night. Try to stay calm and remember these tips.
- Call for help on an emergency phone or your mobile.
- If you are alone, tell the emergency services this.
- Return to the car but stay on the verge or bank.
- Lock all doors except the passenger door nearest to you.
- If someone pulls up, get into the car, lock the doors and speak through a slightly open window.
- If you are lost then it is safer to make your way to the nearest busy area and work out where you are going from there.
- Do not accept help from strangers.
- Remember that you should only stop on the hard shoulder in an emergency.
Remember if you are parking in daylight things will look different at night. To ensure your safety when you return, always park in a busy, well-lit area.
- Always have your keys ready when you are coming back to your car.
- Take a look inside before you get in and make sure there is no-one there.