Car Safety: driving at night – tips to keep you safe from carjackers

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Woman driving. Image from http://ow.ly/UDO6Y

During the approaching festive season more motorists will be driving at night to attend family get togethers, parties and year end corporate functions. It is important to remember that driving at night raises security concerns for drivers because of inadequate visibility in the dark and risks of attacks are more common during this time than during daylight. The following tips will help to enhance safety while driving at night.

Woman driving. Image from http://ow.ly/UDO6Y
Woman driving. Image from http://ow.ly/UDO6Y

Drive at moderate speed.

One of the most important things to do while driving at night is to drive at a reasonable speed. Driving at moderate speed will help you to spot threats more easily, react quickly and take avoiding action.

Lock doors at all times.

Doors should be locked at all times to keep would be carjackers from slipping into the car.

Consider a backup driver.

On long journeys it is important to have a backup driver to swap duties when you are fatigued, or in need of a break. Having an extra pair of eyes and someone to converse with also helps to keep the driver alert.

Park in well lit areas.

When you know you will arrive, or leave after dark always ensure that the car is parked in a very well lit space.

Be alert.

To avoid falling prey to carjackers while driving, always try to be aware of the area of your destination. Know routes well and on suspicion that a car is following you change to an alternative route. When approaching the entrance to your home, or premises, do not stop, but keep driving. Never lead the following car occupants back to your home, or stop and get out. Instead, drive to the nearest police station and always report such incidents to the relevant authorities.

When feeling harassed by another driver, try to find the nearest police station, hotel, or a public facility. Once you find a secure place, do not worry about using legal parking space. Park as close as possible to the nearest building and get inside it fast.

Lock doors and windows.

Most carjackers wants to steal quickly and leave the area as soon as possible. Rarely will a carjacking happen in a bumper to bumper traffic jam as opposed to where traffic lights are working and being followed. It is therefore very important to ensure that all car windows and doors are locked when you are at a standstill.

­Do not resist attack.

In case you are confronted by an armed carjacker comply with his, or her demands. Do not argue, or fight. Life is more precious than a car. Most carjackers are interested in the car more than your life.

Install a car tracking system.

Consider installing a GPS car tracking device to help trace the vehicle in case carjackers escape with it. This also helps the police with carrying out their investigations.

Distance your car from the one in front.

Leave sufficient space for maneuvering between your vehicle and the one in front. If approached by suspicious people when at a standstill, do not roll down windows, instead drive away quickly.

What to do in case of the following incidents:

1.When another driver tries to force you to pull over, or cut in front keep driving and attempt to get away. Try to note the number plate of the car and a description of the car and driver. If this effort places you in danger avoid it. Safety comes first.

2. If you are travelling alone and a car “bumps” your car, do not stop to exchange accident information. Go to the nearest service station, or other public place to call the police.

Extra precautions

· Do not stop to collect and transport strangers while driving at night.

· After shopping and placing packages in the boot of your car, before returning to carry out more shopping, it is a good idea to move the car to another section of the parking lot, or street. A criminal who has been tracing your movement will know that you are coming back and can use this opportunity to stage an ambush. By moving your car, you give the impression that you are leaving.

· On suspicion that you are being followed do not go back to your car. Return to the safety of the occupied shopping area, or office building and inform the authorities.

· If you are in a parking lot, or parked on the street and have trouble with your vehicle, be wary of assistance from strangers. Go to the nearest telephone and call a repair service, or friend for help.

Article from Brian Sagala –Marketing and Communications Manager – Securex Agencies Limited.

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