When you’re a woman driving alone, car accidents are far from the only risk you can have happen to you. Abductions, carjacking, and falling prey to a person impersonating a law enforcement officer all are additional hazards for women who are typically targeted by sexual predators.
Most crimes against women driving alone happen when they are heading to or from their cars, especially in parking lots, where criminals will steal both vehicles and property. While it’s critical not to be overly fearful, it’s keen to be on the lookout for an issue and be ready if you’re confronted. Here are some steps in staying safe when driving by yourself.
Be cautious where you park. Experts suggest finding a well-lit are/parking lot, indoors or out. Avoid areas where no or few cars are parked. Steer clear of parking near vans, especially commercial ones that don’t have any side glass so you can’t see if someone is inside.
Have your keys handy. Looking for keys, talking on your phone, or texting while walking to your car gives a criminal the extra few seconds needed to pull off a carjacking, mugging, or much worse. If your key fob can be programmed to open only the driver-side door, do it. Carry some pepper spray with you and have it attached to your keychain. Lock your doors ASAP when you get in.
Pay attention to vehicles near yours. As you walk back to your car, is someone sitting in another vehicle’s passenger side, right by where you’ll be getting in? Is the vehicle pulling out, or just sitting there? If it’s the latter, walk back and ask a parking attendant or security guard to walk you to your car. This could be trouble.
Keeping your wits about you when you are driving alone, regardless if it’s day or night, can be your lifesaver.