It is a depressing truth, but female drivers are statistically more at risk than men when driving alone, particularly at night.
Thefts and attacks are rare, but can happen. So what can you do to protect yourself when you are driving alone? Follow these steps to ensure your safety.
What to do while driving
Firstly, while approaching your car, ensure you have your keys in-hand and ready to unlock your car. If you have remote locking, ensure you only unlock your car when you are standing next to it. It may sound dramatic, but check you are alone, no one is inside the car, and then lock the doors. Ensure your doors remain locked when driving through remote or unfamiliar areas, and particularly at night. Stopping at a red light can give a thief the vital few seconds they need to open a passenger door and grab your mobile phone or bag, or allows an attacker to enter your car.
Make sure your valuables are kept out of sight, ensuring valuable items such as mobile phones, handbags or laptops are not left on the passenger seat. Avoid wearing expensive watches or jewellery which can be tempting to thieves and the police claim items can be stolen in as little as ten seconds.
It is vital to keep your car moving and to avoid stopping at unfamiliar places, even if you are lost and need to ask for directions. Never stop for a car that flashes you or pulls alongside pointing at your car or tyres. Find a garage or restaurant that is well-lit, pull in to check your vehicle or get directions.
Essential car maintenance
Ensure your car is well maintained, with any issues fixed as soon as possible. Keep your car regularly serviced, with tyre pressure correct, to avoid any car breakdowns that can leave you stranded and vulnerable.
If you drive a larger vehicle, consider installing a truck camera such as those found at http://www.backwatch.co.uk.
Store a spare water bottle inside your car for your windscreen, and ensure you have sufficient fuel for your trip. No one wants to be stranded alone at the side of the road waiting for rescue. Keep your phone with you, and make sure it is charged before you set off on your journey.