Driving and vehicle safety advice
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.
Plan your journey and let someone know where you are going
If you feel uneasy travelling alone, there are some simple things you can do to ensure you feel safe.
- Plan out your route before you leave so you feel confident and in control about where you are going. Try to stick to main routes if possible.
- Make sure your mobile phone is charged before you set off or invest in an ‘in-car’ charger to keep your mobile phone charged throughout your journey.
- Always let someone know where you are going.
Be safe and alert when driving
It is important to stay safe and alert while on the road - you want to avoid all of the emergencies you just planned for.
- Do not stop if someone tries to flag you down.
- Never pick up hitchhikers - only give lifts to people you know well.
- Keep your mobile out of sight and do not use it while driving.
- Be aware and cautious of tailgaters or aggressive 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.
- Keep doors locked and handbags and valuables out of view.
- If you need air, only wind your window down a little so nobody can reach in while you are stopped in traffic.
Where is the safest place to park my vehicle?
There are lots of ways to keep yourself safe when parking your vehicle.
- Look for a secured car park. Choose a car park that is supervised and has restricted entry and exit points along with CCTV cameras.
- Remember if you are parking in daylight things will look different at night. If you are leaving your vehicle on a main road, 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.
What should I do if my vehicle breaks down?
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 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.