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Women’s safety when driving alone

Women's safety when driving alone
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As the dark nights draw in, women can sometimes feel a little more wary about driving alone. However, by following a few simple tips, you can enjoy the freedom that driving offers without feeling overly anxious about your safety.

Check your car

Nobody wants their car to break down in the middle of a journey, so checking that your car is roadworthy and safe is a good idea. Have your car regularly serviced by a qualified mechanic and make sure you have plenty of oil, anti-freeze and screen wash before you set off. Tyre condition and pressure (including the spare) should be monitored to make sure they’re safe – the vehicle’s handbook will tell you the correct level to inflate them too.

If warning lights come on check the handbook to find out what they mean and get any faults seen to as soon as possible. It might be tempting to ignore it until the problem gets worse but if you hold off you may end up breaking down before you get to the garage. And don’t forget to check you have enough fuel to get you to your destination!

Take sensible precautions

The majority of thefts from vehicles involve the thief opening the passenger side door and grabbing a handbag. Keep valuables out of sight and reach, even when you’re inside the car. If a stranger approaches the car, lock the doors and close all the windows and never give someone you don’t know a lift. Unless you are sure they are right, be wary of anyone signalling to you to stop because there is something wrong with your car. If you’re unsure, then drive to a busy place before getting out to check.

Women's safety when driving alone

Use familiar routes

Sat-nav is great for finding our way to new places but you should still familiarise yourself with the route you’ll be taking before you set off on a journey. If your mobile runs out of battery or you lose your signal the sat-nav won’t be much good. As much as possible, try to stick to busy routes rather than winding country roads or rough areas.

Parking

Always park on a busy well-lit street or in a car park with an attendant. Wait until you’re close to the car before unlocking it and have your keys already in your hand as you approach so that you don’t need to stand raking through your handbag to find them. When you get in the car lock your doors at least until you’re safely on the move.

Stopping for the police

Drivers must stop if pulled over by the police. However, if you don’t think you have broken any traffic regulations then you should remain cautious, particularly if you’re stopped by an unmarked police car. If possible, pull into a well-lit area, such as a petrol station, and ask to see identification before rolling down your window or getting out of the car. If you are not 100% sure that it is the police signalling for you to stop, you should indicate that you’ve seen them and drive to a busy area before stopping. Don’t take off suddenly as if you’re trying to get away but drive slowly, indicating where you’re planning to go.

While more and more women are driving on their own and society’s views on women drivers have shifted significantly in the past couple of decades, unfortunately criminals still see women as being easy targets so it pays to be extra vigilant when you’re out and about on your own.

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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