Even the most careful driver can be faced with an emergency situation. Use your common sense and these tips to help protect yourself from danger:
If your car should break down and you're not near enough to one of your safe spots, follow these steps:
- Get off the roadway, out of the path of oncoming traffic, even if you to have drive on a flat tire. The tire is replaceable.
- Turn on your emergency flashers. If you have emergency roadway flares in your trunk, position them conspicuously
- Raise the hood and tie a handkerchief to the aerial or door handle.
- If a roadside telephone or call-box is handy, use it. If not, sit in your locked car and wait for help.
- If a motorist stops to render assistance, it's better to remain in the car, and ask him to get help. (Likewise, if you see a stranded motorist, it's better not to stop. Notify the police.)
If you think you are being followed, don't drive home. You would only be telling your follower where you live.
- Stay Calm. As long as you think clearly, you'll be in control of the situation.
- Flash your lights and sound your horn long enough to attract attention to you, and consequently the person following you.
- Drive to one of your already identified safe spots, sounding your horn and flashing your lights. Do not leave this safe location until you're sure your follower is gone.
- Remember, you are your best protection. If you allow these steps, you'll be protecting the most important part of your car-YOU.
Common sense will generally steer you clear of the very infrequent dangerous situation
- Always lock your car doors while driving, and roll windows up far enough to keep anyone from reaching inside.
- At stop signs and lights keep the car in gear and stay alert.
- Travel well-lighted, busy streets. You can spare those extra minutes it may take to avoid an unsafe area.
- Keep your purse and other valuables out of sight, even when you are driving in your locked car.
- Park in safe, well-lighted areas near your destination.
- Always lock your car, even for a short absence. And before unlocking your car, quickly check to make sure no one is hiding on your seats or floors, front and back.
- Never pick up a hitchhiker. Even the most harmless-looking stranger can be dangerous. Don't find out.
- When you arrive home, leave your headlights on until you have the car in the garage and the house door unlocked. If you can have a remote control garage door opener installed, it will allow you to remain in your locked car until you're inside your locked garage.
- Check the daily routes you travel and pick out safe spots-24 hour gas stations, convenience stores, and police and fire stations. If trouble should arise, drive straight to one of these locations.
Protecting Your Car
- Every 33 seconds a car is stolen.
- More than a million cars are stolen a year.
- 40% have keys in the ignition.
- 80% are unlocked.
- Most are stolen by young opportunists.
To keep your car from becoming a statistic:
- Always lock all doors.
- Roll windows up tight
- Install tapered interior door lock buttons.
- Park in heavily traveled areas, always locked.
- Engrave an identifying number on a hidden place on the car and on any valuable components to help the police identify recovered property.
- Don't leave any valuables in sight.
- Don't hide spare keys-they can be found.
- Don't think it can't happen to you-act before, not after the crime.
While you've been reading this, ten cars were stolen. They were stolen because the opportunity was there. If you have taken these protective measures, you may deter the theft of your car. The thief won't have to look far for an easier target.