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If you are a woman driving alone, you may feel vulnerable at this time of year when the nights have drawn in and it is often dark when you return to your car. The key to staying safe whilst driving this winter is to remain savvy at all times and think ahead.
Women should not be afraid to drive in the dark as it is invariably one of the safest methods of getting places, particularly if you need to travel alone. However, there are a few sensible rules provided by the Trusted Dealers, which we recommend women drivers should follow to ensure they stay safe behind the wheel.
Avoid a break down
Regularly servicing your car by a reputable garage will ensure that it is less likely to break down, so make sure you check your manufacturer’s handbook for guidance on when you should be getting your car serviced. Also check your fluid levels regularly as well as the condition of your tyres and their pressure.
Handling a break down
If you do break down, the key is to be prepared which means carrying a charged mobile phone with you at all times. Keeping a torch, a warm coat, some sensible shoes, a blanket and some money in the car is also a good idea just in case you do need to wait in your car for any length of time. If possible, try to stop in a well lit area and keep the doors locked whilst you are waiting. A patrol or garage mechanic will always carry proof of identity with them so make sure you check this before opening a window or unlocking your door.
Keep your tank filled up
Running out of fuel is one of the most common reasons for a break down, so be sensible and get into the habit of filling up when your tank is half-empty, just in case you need to make a longer journey than planned for any unforeseen reason.
Avoid getting lost
If you are about to embark on an unfamiliar journey then make sure you plan your route prior to setting off. It is always sensible to have an alternative route planned in case of any sudden road works or diversions. Satellite navigation systems are very handy and will take the worry out of getting lost, however, do not solely rely on them, always make sure you take along a road atlas to double check what the sat nav is telling you.
Stay alert en route
Always keep your valuables out of sight such as laptops, a mobile phone or your hand bag so as not to alert thieves to your car whilst you are travelling. Whilst driving keep your doors locked and only wind your windows down partially, particularly in built up areas.
Parking up safely
If you do need to park at night, make sure you always park in a well lit area, preferably in a busy location. When you do return to your car have your car keys ready and make sure you get close to your vehicle before unlocking it. If the car design allows, only open the driver’s door to reduce access.