Personal safety for female drivers
Women out driving alone can often feel vulnerable. Here are few tips to help you feel safe and secure when out and about in your car.
If you are going anywhere alone always make sure that someone knows where you are going and when you are likely to get there. Make sure it is someone you trust who you know will ask questions if you do not get to your destination. Also remember to let them know if you are likely to be delayed.
Keep your mobile phone with you at all times and keep it charged. Phone chargers that work from your cars cigarette lighter are fairly inexpensive and can be used in any vehicle, it could be worth investing in one.
If you don't already have one, consider buying a small personal alarm to scare off a potential attacker and keep it in your car.
Get into the habit of driving around with your car doors locked, or at least be able to lock them in a hurry if you need to. There has been an increase in car-jacking crime in recent years and you may be vulnerable, even sitting in a traffic queue.
Always park your car in a well lit area if you likely to be walking to it at night.
How can I defend myself?
The law in the UK states that you are allowed to use reasonable force to defend yourself against an attacker. You can use objects you have with you to defend yourself but you must not carry any offensive weapons such as knives or mace sprays. Using these items should only be as way to enable you to escape.
Staying safe if you break down
Try to make sure that you have some kind of breakdown recovery cover for your vehicle and if you break down make sure that you tell the operator that you are a female driving alone. Recovery operators generally prioritise lone female drivers and help is likely to arrive more quickly.
Lock all your doors and if it is safe to do so (i.e. you are not on a motorway hard shoulder) and sit on the passenger side of your vehicle. This will make any potential attacker think that you are waiting for another person to return to the car and hopefully deter them.
If you do break down on the motorway it is safer for you not to stay in the car as your vehicle is vulnerable to being hit by other traffic. You can however stand behind the crash barrier but still stay close enough to your car to be able to get back inside and lock the doors if you feel threatened.
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