The recent protest in parts of Johannesburg left many drivers fearing for their lives. There were widespread reports of residents of Jeppestown and Malvern damaged property and cars in two separate events.
Being safe on the road and getting to your destination alive is imperative as a driver. As a female driver, this means being extra vigilant – especially when driving alone or travelling with children.
So how can you stay extra safe on these streets as a female driver?
Over and above being familiar with of all the road rules, and always carrying a relevant driver’s licence, there are also some useful safety tips that you can consider to ensure your safety and security.
Avoiding a breakdown is your first step to road safety, after all, as a woman you don’t want to be stuck alone on the side of the road!
- Never allow yourself to run out of fuel, as this is the easiest way to wind up stuck on the side of the road! While you’re at it, be sure to have the necessary checks done at the fuel station every time you fill up. This includes checking your spare tire pressure too.
- Get your car serviced regularly at a reputable garage. Making sure you never miss a service not only ensures that your car’s working well, but also keeps your warranty intact. Never ignore warning signs or lights that pop up on your vehicle. They are there to warm you of potential “sticky” situations.
- In the unfortunate event of a breakdown:
- If possible, stay safe in your car until the requested help arrives. If someone stops and offers to help, wind your window down minimally, chat to them and let them know that your help will be arriving shortly.
- Ensure that you have everything you need on hand. This includes a fully charged cell phone with the relevant emergency contacts.
Be alert and aware while driving and keep the following in mind when you’re on the road:
- Always keep your car’s doors locked and all valuables, or anything that could attract the attention of criminals, out of sight.
- When driving, keep enough space between your car and the car in front of you so that you can pull away and drive away in case of an emergency.
Vigilance is of the utmost importance.
- This means being aware of your surroundings whenever you’re approaching your car, stopping at a traffic light or stop sign, and when approaching your destination. Be aware of vehicles that are travelling behind you. If the car behind you continues to follow you for a long time, take alternative left and right turns to see if the car continues to follow you. If they do, then there is a possibility that you are being targeted. In this situation, drive to your nearest petrol station or busy area to seek help.
- If you arrive home late at night or feel uneasy about the vehicles around you as you approach your destination, phone your armed response or local security company to wait with you while you get inside your house.
- Stay off your phone while driving! A phone is distracting and could make you an easier target for predators. If you must make or take a call, rather opt to use your Bluetooth.
Be careful in parking lots.
- Stay vigilant, and if necessary, request a security guard to escort you to your vehicle. These areas can often be quite deserted and leave you vulnerable to attacks.
- When approaching your vehicle, have your keys ready and do a visual sweep of your surroundings before getting in.
- Always try to inform a close friend or family member of your whereabouts and your estimated time of arrival so they can call you if there is a delay.
Don’t lower your guard just because you’re in a familiar area. By taking these road safety tips into account and staying alert, you can ensure that you travel as safely as possible.
While you’re at it, ensure that your car has comprehensive insurance so that you can call for the help you need in the event of an emergency.
This blog is sponsored by MiWay. MiWay is a licenced insurer and registered financial services provider.