Travel Safety

Outside of the home, the most common place for an assault to occur is in a vehicle or on a highway. A vehicle is an appealing target for attackers because it provides them with two key elements: privacy and mobility.

  • Travel, walk, and park in lighted, populated areas.
  • Remember where you park so you can easily find your car.
  • Ask for an escort if you feel at risk.
  • Keep some money hidden in your car for taxis or unexpected problems.
  • Keep car doors locked and windows up at all times, especially while you are in it.
  • Have your keys ready so you can enter your car quickly.
  • Before entering, look in, under, and around the car to ensure that no robbers are awaiting your arrival. If anything seems amiss, do not get in your vehicle. Seek safety and ask for help.
  • Be cautious of anyone standing near your car or offering assistance if it is disabled. This could be a ploy by a potential attacker waiting for his next victim.
  • Keep your car in good running condition with at least a quarter tank of gas in it at all times.
  • Lock gas caps and hood releases to deter sabotage attempts.
  • Learn to change a flat tire to prevent being stranded. If a flat occurs in an unsafe place, continue driving at a reduced speed until you find a busy, well-lighted place to stop.
  • If your car breaks down, raise the hood or tie a white cloth to your antenna. Stay in your car with the windows up and doors locked. If someone stops, roll down your window slightly and ask them to call the police or a towing service. Display a large CALL POLICE sign if you have one.
  • Do not assist stranded motorists; call the police to assist them as soon as you can.
  • You must stop your car if you are summoned by a vehicle with blue lights. If you believe, however, that the vehicle is bogus or that you are in danger, drive to a well-lit occupied area before stopping. Unmarked police cars must flash their blue lights and sound their siren if they summon you to stop after dark.
  • While stopping at an intersection, leave enough room between your car and the one in front of you so you can get around it if necessary.
  • If someone tries to enter your car and you cannot move it, honk the horn and scream to attract attention. If someone unexpected enters your car, throw the keys out and exit immediately.
  • An assailant may cause an accident in order to set up his next victim. If you have an accident in an isolated place, drive to the nearest safe place and call police. Safely inform the other driver of these plans. After you have notified police, meet them back at the accident scene.
  • Carry a cellular phone with a fully-charged battery.
  • Advise friends or family of your travel plans, i.e. departure time, route, stopping points, estimated arrival time, etc.
  • Know where you are going, the safest routes, and what time you should arrive; have someone monitor your arrival.