Keeping Safe While Driving

We feel safe in our cars. Cars offer us a sense of insulation from the noisy, sometimes dangerous unknown world just beyond our windshield. Of course, that’s not entirely accurate. While cars now have all sorts of safety features to reduce harm caused by accidents, common sense still prevails when it comes to other ways to keep us safe while driving. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Always keep car doors locked and windows up when driving through areas where the posted speed limit is low.
  • If approached by someone suspicious while stopped, do not roll down your window to talk to the person.
  • If you are being followed or harassed by another driver, call 911 and then drive to the nearest police station, hotel or other public place. Do not go home or to work and don’t try to engage the other driver in any way. Park close to a well-lighted entrance, get inside fast and wait for the police to arrive.
  • If another driver tries to force you to pull over or cuts you off, keep driving. Note the license number and the description of the car and driver and then call police.
  • When parking, look for a spot that offers good lighting and is close to a busy public area. To prevent theft, roll up your car windows and always lock your doors.
  • Extra precautions are necessary when shopping. If you think you are being followed to your car, return instead to the safety of the shopping area. Request a security officer to escort you to your car.
  • If you have car trouble on the road, pull to the shoulder and raise your hood. Put on your flashers. Stay in the car and lock your doors. When people stop to help, don’t get out unless they are the police or you know them.
  • If it’s in your budget, sign up for “on call” services often offered through your car’s manufacturer. These “SOS” services can provide immediate assistance if you are in an accident, your car breaks down or you feel you are in danger.

AAA has a handy safety checklist and more safety suggestions at AAA Newsroom.