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Nov 26 / safegirl

Driving Safely

Yesterday was International Awareness Day against Domestic Violence. We at Safe-Girl aim to raise safety awareness to all women, whether at home, or out and about.

Driving is normally a very safe activity. However violent and aggressive incidents can happen, so avoid any unnecessary risks when out driving by being prepared.

  • Plan your journey carefully. Know what route you are taking and let other people know where you are going and when you hope to arrive.
  • Keep a map in the car so that you don’t have to stop and ask for directions.
  • Never leave your keys in the ignition whilst you are out of the car for any reason.
  • Keep the doors locked when you are driving and keep bags and other valuables out of sight.
  • If someone approaches the car when you are parked or stopped at lights, only roll down the window enough to hear what they want but not enough for someone to get their arm through.
  • Make sure your car is serviced regularly. In winter it is especially important to keep your lights clean and your battery fully charged.
  • Check you have up-to-date breakdown cover and that you know the number to call if you break down or have an accident. If possible, carry a mobile phone with you at all times.
  • If you break down, pull as far off the road as you can and put your hazard warning lights on. Call your breakdown organisation, letting them know if you are travelling alone and if you have children with you.
  • If you break down on a motorway, it is usually safer to wait for assistance outside your vehicle, standing on the verge or behind the crash barrier. Take your keys with you and lock all doors except the one nearest to you, which you can leave wide open, so that you can get in quickly if you need to.
  • If you witness an accident or someone tries to flag you down, think carefully before stopping. It may be safer to drive on and phone the police from a safe location.
  • If you think someone is following you, keep driving till you come to a busy location such as a garage or motorway services. If you are really worried, drive straight to the nearest police station.
  • If you feel threatened make a note of the type of car and its registration number.
  • If your car is hit from behind, think twice before you get out of the car. If you feel threatened, lock your doors and sound your horn to attract attention and use a mobile phone to contact the police.
  • Carry a personal alarm at all times.
  • Think about keeping some of our driving safety products in your car, in case of emergency.

Parking Your Car

  • Avoid using poorly-lit car parks. Whenever possible, choose a manned car park and park as close as you can to the attendant.
  • Reverse into the space and hide all valuables
  • Shut all windows. Lock all doors. Note where you have parked your car.
  • When returning to your car, have your keys ready so that you can get in quickly. Before entering scan the back seat to check no-one has climbed in.
  • Once you are in the car, lock the doors immediately.
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