The Suzy Lamplugh Trust was founded in 1986 following the disappearance of the young estate agent. The aim of the Trust is to raise awareness of the importance of personal safety and to help people to avoid violence and aggression and live safer, more confident lives.
The Good Garage Scheme would like to support the Trust's aim by sharing their valuable driving safety advice especially aimed at female motorists travelling alone.
If you do need to travel alone by car, please read the following sensible safety tips:
- Plan your journey carefully. Know what route you are taking and let other people know where you are going and when you hope to arrive.
- Keep a map in the car so that you don’t have to stop and ask for directions.
- Never leave your keys in the ignition whilst you are out of the car for any reason. Keep the doors locked when driving and keep bags and other valuables out of sight.
- If someone approaches the car when you are parked or stopped at lights, only roll down the window enough to hear what they want but not enough for someone to get their arm through.
- Make sure your car is serviced regularly. In winter it is especially important to keep your lights clean and your battery fully charged.
- Check you have up-to-date breakdown cover and that you know the number to call if you break down or have an accident. If possible, carry a mobile phone with you at all times.
- Avoid using poorly-lit car parks. Whenever possible choose a staffed car park and park as close as you can to the attendant. Reverse into the space and hide all valuables. Shut all windows, lock all doors and note where you have parked your car.
- If you think someone is following you, keep driving until you come to a busy location such as a garage or motorway services. If you are really worried, drive straight to the nearest police station.
- If you feel threatened, make a note of the type of car and its registration number.
- If you breakdown, pull as far off the road as you can and put your hazard warning lights on. Call your breakdown organisation and let them know if you are travelling alone and if you have children with you.
- If you break down on a motorway, it is usually safer to wait for assistance outside your vehicle, standing on the verge or behind the crash barrier. Take your keys with you and lock all doors except the one nearest to you, which you can leave wide open so that you can get in quickly if you need to.
- If you witness an accident or someone tries to flag you down, think carefully before stopping. It may be safer to drive on and phone the police from a safe location.
- If your car is hit from behind, think twice before you get out of the car. If you feel threatened, lock your doors and sound your horn to attract attention and use a mobile phone to contact the police.
For additional peace of mind, download the free Good Garage Scheme app so that you can locate a garage you can trust wherever you travel in the UK.
Thanks to the the Suzy Lamplugh Trust for help with this week's blog. For more information about their organisation, visit www.suzylamplugh.org.