Safety Tips for Traveling Alone
by B.J. Killeen
the car-stalker scenario is a definite possibility when traveling
on the highway, there are other situations where it's vital you keep
your calm and know what to do. Football junkies know that the best
defense is a good offense. This also holds true for security when
good video for any woman who travels frequently by car is called "Traveling
Alone in America." The 36-minute tape/program, sponsored by Car
X (a muffler and brake shop) and endorsed by police agencies nationwide,
offers three scenario/re-enactments of possibly dangerous situations.
The first one chronicles a woman who accepts help from a man to change
her flat tire. She ends up being abducted, assaulted and killed. Violent
crimes like this, according to statistics, happen every 22 seconds,
and with 13 million female businesswomen who do the majority of their
travel by car, an attack like this is a real possibility.
second scenario deals with a woman who travels by plane, then rents
a car. She experiences potentially harmful situations in her hotel
and when driving the rental car. The final scene is presented by the
real victim of the crime, a flight attendant who was traveling alone
on the highway at night. She details the experience from memory, and
presents a convincing case for alertness and awareness.
of the tips mentioned in the video include the following:
traveling on the highway, always be aware of your surroundings. Know
any directions you may need and keep at least a half tank of gas in
you're driving a rental vehicle, request a car with no identifying
stickers to reduce the chances of being a target. Walk around the
vehicle before getting in to check for problems that might stop you
on the highway; for example, a tire with low air or a muffler pipe
hanging down. Only do this outside, though; if you're in an underground
parking area, getting inside and locking the doors is the primary
objective. You can do a walkaround at a gas station or outside the
you do have problems, stay in your car. There's no substitute for
the peace of mind that comes from owning a cellular phone, so get
one as soon as possible. If not, put up a "call police" sign in your window. Never raise the hood of the vehicle--it attracts
the wrong element and obstructs your view.
you're driving at night in a desolate area and someone hits your car.
Remain in the car, try to get the other vehicle's license plate and
ask the driver to follow you to a police station or other public area.
That way, if there's anything suspicious, there won't be any opportunity
for trouble. If the driver leaves, don't follow him; just write down
the license plate and report it to the police. An extra bonus is to
get a description of the driver. Don't worry about leaving the scene
of an accident. If you feel you're in danger, your personal safety
by air or at a hotel, never put your full name on your bags. Use valet
parking whenever possible. Ask the bellhop to check your room, and
you check to make sure the telephone is working. Never open it without
asking for identification. Buy a door alarm; they're inexpensive and
well worth the good night's sleep.
keep your car keys in your hand and ready. Use the "fisted key" approach, with the key sticking out between your index and middle
finger to use as a weapon if necessary. Make sure you check the back
seats before getting inside.
you buy a new car and opt for the remote keyless entry, look for the
kind that has a panic button; this will trigger the car's alarm system
and scare away attackers.
your car in good shape with regular services; check all fluids and
pressures before starting on a trip.
let someone know where you're going, when you expect to be there and
how you can be reached.
lot of this information is just common sense, but in this day and
age, it's important to put security at the top of your agenda.