Keeping you up to speed
Despite the sensational stories of car-jacking and opportunistic thefts at traffic lights that make the news, the UK is generally a very safe place for women drivers, even at night. However, there are a few sensible steps that any woman driver should take to reduce the risks when they are out driving on their own.
It makes sense to think ahead if you drive long distances, are making a special trip or you do a lot of driving late at night. Always have up-to-date breakdown cover – this is now available as standard or as an extra by many car insurance companies, including female driver’s insurance policies.
You should try to keep your car in good condition, both through regular servicing and by checking things like tyres and oil level yourself. This will significantly reduce the chances of you breaking down and putting yourself at risk when you are out driving alone. If you do break down call your breakdown service as soon as possible, staying locked in your car if it’s safe to do so from a traffic point of view. These services will prioritise single women drivers who call and will get to you as fast as possible.
If you are driving on unfamiliar roads, especially at night or through inner cities, you should make sure someone knows where you are going and when you can expect to arrive. If you always keep them informed, they will be quicker to notice if you don’t arrive as expected.
Make sure you keep a charged mobile phone with you at all time and an in-car charger just in case, when you are driving alone. This will help you raise the alarm if you feel threatened in any way. If you feel particularly vulnerable, then you can keep an attack alarm or pepper spray in your car for reassurance and protection. Some women drivers even use a dummy figure in the passenger seat so that they do not appear to be driving alone.
One of the best ways of avoiding trouble is to literally avoid it. Plan your route to keep you in well populated areas and on main roads. This may take you a little out of your way, but the short cut through the centre of town could take you through some undesirable areas where attacks and thefts are much more likely as well as the higher risk for women drivers.
When you return to your car parked in a public place take a moment to check before you get in. If there is another vehicle parked suspiciously close or blocking you, don’t approach your vehicle alone; find help. It is also worth looking in your vehicle before you get in, as it is not unknown for attackers to break in and hide on the back seat waiting for their victim.
Once again, it should be remembered that the UK’s roads are generally safe for women drivers and that the precautions above are just that – precautions. It may take a little effort and presence of mind to ensure your safety, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.