Tips for Woman (and Men) Driving Alone
Many Women often drive alone and it is an unfortunate fact that they are more likely to draw unwelcome attention than a man alone. This need not be a problem providing you take precautions to avoid unpleasant situations and know how to deal with them if they should arise. Lets consider four situations, Journeys, Being followed, Parking, and Breaking down.
Journeys: -Always plan your route and carry a map. Try and ensure you have enough fuel for the journey, if not try to fill up early.
Let someone know your estimated time of arrival. It is wise to lock your car doors. Place your handbag under the front seat, so it's not visible when you stop the car at a junction or lights. Why not rent a Mobile phone. There are many available; some are relatively inexpensive with cheap rental. The calls may be expensive but the idea is to only use it in an emergency.
Being followed: -Hopefully you will never be followed but if you are this is what you should do. Slow down, but DO- NOT stop. DO-NOT drive home, but drive to a well-lit place and sound your horn and flash your lights. This should get rid of the pest, but if not, drive on to a police station or find a police officer. A Service Station is always a good place to go. Many have phones so you can ring the police for help, or ask the attendant to do it for you.
If you are forced to stop. Lock all doors and close all windows. DO-NOT get out of the car. DO-NOT try and ram the other car, this may prevent your escape. Stop with the wheels turned outwards ready to drive off. Try and remain calm and confident and drive away as soon as you can.
Tip from from Jeni Holland - Absolutely Fabulous driver education centre
Petrol Stations - please please make sure you lock your car doors and remove bags, purses, phones or put out of sight - when paying for petrol. I take pupils to petrol stations for practice and we see many people both male and female leaving keys in the ignition and money and credit cards lying around - often with the door open - and children belted into seats - just think what would happen if someone jumped in and drove off in your car!
Breakdowns: -If you breakdown, walk to the phone. DO-NOT accept a lift. Tell the operator you are a woman alone. When you return to your car either, wait outside the car with the door unlocked and slightly open or sit in the passenger seat, you will look as if you're accompanied. If you are approached when on the phone, tell the operator, describe the person, or give the registration number of the vehicle. A genuine helper will understand your fears and will not be offended. When help arrives, always check their identification before you leave the car. If you are unsure, stay in the car and say you are waiting for the police.
Tip from Alison Sinclair Automatic Tuition
When broken down on a motorway and waiting on the embankment away from the hard shoulder you should lock all the car doors except the passenger door. If someone suspicious stops you can quickly jump in the open passenger door and lock it. They can then deal with the person by opening the window a little until they are sure the person is genuine.
When parking don't leave items on view. Always park in a well lit busy area. If parking in a car park, park close to the exits or near to the attendant. Reverse into the parking space so you can get away quickly. Always lock your doors and find a landmark so you can find your car when you come back. If possible return to your car with others. Approach your car with your keys ready in your hand. Check your car for intruders. Once in your car lock the doors before you drive away.