When you’re behind the wheel of a car, your number one priority – whether driving alone or with passengers – is safety. With the rise of distracted driving, and the increased number of hijackings taking place on our roads, it’s crucial to know how to avoid falling victim to either of the above.
To help you become more street smart and avoid catching yourself in an unwanted situation, here are 4 tips to keep you safe whilst driving.
#1: Stay Alert
As cliché as it sounds, remaining alert is one of the most important things you can do whilst driving. The worst thing a driver can do on the roads is let themselves become distracted.
Strive to be hyper-alert of your surroundings at all times. Focus 100% of your attention on the task at hand and keep an eye out for anything that may seem out of the ordinary or suspicious.
If you feel like you are being followed, don’t stop. Drive to the nearest public place or a police station.
#2: Anticipate Red Lights
If you’re driving alone on quiet roads or late at night, you want to avoid being stuck at a red light with not many other drivers around as this makes for the ideal opportunity for hijackers.
The best thing you can do is anticipate red lights and start slowing down long before you reach the traffic lights, giving them a chance to turn green before you need to come to a dead stop.
#3: Avoid Unfamiliar Routes
Driving unfamiliar roads can be dangerous; you don’t always know what’s coming around the corner and if the next turn leads to a dead-end or not.
If you’re driving at night, it’s best to avoid unfamiliar roads as best you can. During the day, it’s less risky and visibility is higher, so you have a better chance of understanding what’s ahead.
If you are forced to use unfamiliar roads, do some pre-planning; take a look at the route on your GPS and be mindful of any dead-ends and dangerous roads. It’s always a good idea to share your live location with a spouse, family member or friend in this case.
A little planning can go a long way on the road.
#4: Know Who to Call
When you feel you are in danger, panic can set in pretty fast; your heart rate will rise and, naturally, your decision-making process won’t be as refined as it would be if you were calmer.
Knowing who to call in an emergency situation is something every driver should know; no matter how advanced or amateur of a driver they may be.
Technology has equipped us with numerous safety advantages through software. A crisis response app is one of the best things you can invest in when it comes to keeping you safe on the road. Instead of having to navigate through your phone book and dial numbers, you have one panic button that’s used to coordinate the relevant emergency services. Some crisis response services offer Hijack Tracking which uses data from the vehicle’s tracking unit to locate your vehicle and dispatch help.
Although the roads are not a perfect place and driving can be intimidating, if you’re constantly aware of your surroundings and drive smartly, you can give yourself the best possible chance of staying safe whilst driving. Practice the above tips and expect the unexpected.