Driving safely

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This article has been reproduced from the Metropolitan Police website for the purpose of education

Security

  • Car crime is very common. Car security devices are available at all price ranges.
  • Contact several suppliers for advice before you purchase.
  • DO NOT leave valuables in a car when it is parked.

Maintenance

  • Make sure that your car is kept in good running order
  • Do not put yourself at risk by running out of oil, petrol or water
  • Take the time to learn the basics of car maintenance and have you car serviced by a reputable garage
  • Consider joining a breakdown organisation as added security

Keeping in Contact

  • If you feel vulnerable travelling alone it is worth considering purchasing a mobile phone. Ensure the mobile is fully charged before setting off on long journeys or buy a car phone charger
  • Always let someone know where you are going
  • Plan your route and take a map to avoid asking strangers for directions
  • Take enough money with you for emergency phone calls and consider a phone card
  • Take the details of your breakdown organisation and membership number

Avoiding assault

  • Keep doors locked and keep handbags out of view
  • Never pick up hitchhikers
  • Avoid eye contact with aggressive or suspicious drivers
  • If you are forced to stop, keep your engine running and enough room around you to manoeuvre
  • If a driver gets out and approaches you, flash your lights and sound your horn. If you have an alarm, set it off

On the motorway

  • Call for help on an emergency phone (or mobile if you already have a contact who can assist you)
  • If you are a woman alone make sure you inform the contact of this fact
  • Return to the car, but stay on the verge/bank. Lock all doors except the passenger door nearest to you
  • Get back in and lock the door if someone pulls up. Remember that you should only stop on the hard shoulder in an emergency. If you are lost it is safer to make your way to the nearest service station, roadside restaurant or town and establish your bearings there.
  • Do not accept help from passers by. If someone approaches get into the car, lock the doors and speak through a slightly open window.

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