Safety tips for driving alone (especially at night)

By Faeza
31 May 2016

All motorists need to be careful on the road, but female drivers are more at risk when driving on their own, especially at night.

The team at Imperial Auto has compiled some travel tips to help you stay safe when driving alone:

1. Plan your route ahead of time

Knowing where you’re going will not only cut down on travelling time, but it will ensure you don’t get lost.

Always alert someone when you are departing and give them an estimated time of arrival. Make sure to include all the details of your trip including any stops you may make along the way.

2. Ensure you have enough fuel to get you to your destination

3. Check your vehicle's basic safety features before departing

Make sure that your lights and hazards are working properly, and that your tyres are correctly inflated and in good condition.

4. Avoid driving on unmarked routes and back roads at night

5. Keep a safe distance from the car ahead of you at intersections

This makes it easier to pull away and check your blind spots for potential hijackers approaching you.

6. Take note of landmarks and be aware of your surroundings

This allows you to explain to someone where you are, should you get lost.

7. Ensure your vehicle is locked at all times

Many vehicles have self-locking doors which is very handy, and make sure your windows are not open all the way down, especially when you approach intersections.

8. Be wary about offering rides to hitchhikers

Unfortunately, we live in a country that doesn’t allow us to be 'good Samaritans'.

9. Do not text and drive

Not only does it distract you from driving and is likely to cause an accident, but you will also be unaware of what is happening around you, and may not notice smash-and-grabbers, for example.

10. Do not leave your handbag and any other valuable items such as a laptop on your passenger seat   Rather put them in your boot. Leaving them in view of passers-by makes you a big target for smash-and-grabs.

11. Make sure your cell phone is charged, or buy a car charger

12. Have two or three close family members or friends readily on speed dial, to avoid delays in panic situations

13. Lastly, do not assume that an unmarked vehicle with flashing lights is a police car

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