As strong, independent women, we need to take extra care when venturing out on South Africa’s roads alone, especially at night. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to predict every emergency situation, but there are a number of safety precautions you can take to ensure your safety.
“Drivers should always consider the threats and possible worst case scenarios – and plan to avoid as many of these as possible,” says Arrive Alive.
The following safety tips are brought to you by Arrive Alive and could help you avoid any mishaps on the road when driving alone:
- When stopped in traffic, leave enough space to pull out from behind the car you are following.
- Lock all doors and roll up the windows while you drive.
- Be especially cautious when you approach intersections crowded with street vendors, newspaper sellers, beggars and street kids.
- Keep your valuables – laptop, handbag, mobile phone – out of sight. Even though there has been success in reducing hijackings, theft from vehicles in SA has increased!
- Drivers are often distracted at their window by a person only to be robbed by his con partner on the other side.
- Should you wish to interact with someone alongside the vehicle open the window only a few centimetres to talk.
- NEVER give lifts to strangers /hitchhikers.
- Beware of anyone who signals that there is something wrong with your car, unless you know that they are right and it is dangerous to drive on.
- If you suspect that you are being followed, drive on to the nearest police station or busy place to get help.
- Sound the horn in potentially dangerous situations.
- Avoid distractions while driving – Keep the volume of your car radio at a reasonable level so you are aware of your surroundings and, tempting as it may be to check phone messages or update Facebook and Twitter while in traffic, your phone should be off every time you turn on the ignition.
- Driver distractions will leave you vulnerable to hijackers and smash-and-grab thugs who could use the element of surprise to creep up on you.
- Avoid engaging with strangers on the road – Women attract attention simply by being women drivers. No matter what type of car you drive, just for being a woman some freak may try to engage with you on the road.
- Avoid strangers trying to get your attention – just drive on, or turn at the next intersection.
- In the event of an incident of road rage, don’t get into a verbal exchange, just take the high road and ignore the person.
Source: Arrive Alive