Your car becomes your basecamp when you are not at home...
At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security. -Jodi Rell
It's ALWAYS happens when you least expect it. There is never an ideal time to get a flat tire, break down or spend hours on the side of the road. Having a plan and being prepared will always serve you better than not.
BREAKDOWNS. The dreaded nemesis to the woman driver. Rule number one: DO NOT run out of gas. This is a completely preventable occurrence. Plan your stops during long road trips ahead of time, if necessary, to make sure this doesn’t happen to you or bring a gas can if you feel it may be an issue. Be a model girl scout and “always be prepared”. Most of us women are not mechanically inclined and so a breakdown could cause all sorts of panic. Don’t. If you do experience car trouble, pull your car to the right side of the road and pull over as far as you can. If you are on a busy road or highway, your safest option is to stay in your vehicle and call for a tow truck. You are safer from anyone that wants to cause you harm and of course safer seat belted into your vehicle if another car hits you. The use of your emergency flashers depends on your comfort level. The flashers obviously signal that your vehicle may be disabled thus potentially letting the wrong person know you are a sitting duck. It could also cause a moth to a flame effect for an impaired driver as they may focus on the light and drive straight into you. However, at night on a busy road it might be worth the risk as opposed to being in a dark vehicle that drivers can’t see easily. Try to never stop on a curve or any place oncoming traffic can’t see you well in advance, either.
If you are stranded on a deserted road or one not frequently traveled, you have the option to stay in your vehicle or choose to hide away from your car if possible. Hiding may give the impression to anyone stopping to assist that you have left already. Always carry some type of personal protection for exactly this type of incident.
What do you do when someone stops to help you? This is a likely occurrence, especially if you are a woman alone. Most people only have the best intentions to help you but there are some that don’t. Remember, possible over probable. Always be cautious and guarded of anyone who stops to help you. Do not be so trusting and again, don’t be afraid to hurt someone’s feelings. Simply explain to them that you would rather stay in your vehicle and wait for professional assistance. If they get persistent, call the proper authorities and act as necessary.
So you’re on a road trip and you stop at a rest stop along the highway. When you get back on the highway, your previously properly running vehicle is now experiencing very obvious signs of distress. You pull over and immediately a man is there offering help. This is likely a situation wherein while you left your vehicle unattended at the rest stop, the criminal took the opportunity to fill your gas tank with a foreign substance like sugar, water, or other chemicals and then followed you until you broke down. Tricks like these are common and if you don’t already have one, purchase a locking gas cap which will greatly reduce the likelihood of something like this happening to you.
Here is a list of items that you should consider carrying in your car. Not all of these will apply to you so pair it down and choose the ones that work for you.
TIRE PRESSURE GAUGE
JACK & LUG WRENCH
FIRST AID KIT
SOMETHING TO PEE IN/TOILET PAPER
SEAT BELT CUTTER/GLASS BREAK
CELL PHONE CHARGER
SMALL AMOUNT OF CASH
Until next time, keep your head on a swivel and always think one step ahead...
Remember, You are more powerful than
the danger that you fear.