What To Do When You Believe You're Being Followed
by Sandy Esslinger
are infinite possibilities to create a scenario for one of the more
frightening experiences that could happen to any one of us at sometime in our
lives — a car stalker!
If you're being followed, stay on the freeway as
long as possible, do not stop, and head to the nearest police station.
Statistics show that women are usually followed
by someone they met or know. Perhaps they met you at a bar, grocery store or restaurant.
Perhaps they're an "ex". You look into your rearview mirror and realize
that the car that was behind you while you were exiting the parking lot is still behind
you five miles later. Panic sets in. You grab your steering wheel with both hands
and bury your foot into the throttle to get away. This is a natural reaction called
the "fight or flight" instinct. Fighting doesn't seem to be an option
when locked in your car, so the flight response kicks in full force.
this is the worst instinct you can have. Try to resist this impulse. The most
important thing you can do is keep your wits about you, think and tell yourself
to relax. Common sense will almost always get you out of situations like this.
In this article we're going to point out some of the common sense strategies that
can keep you out of trouble.
it's part of the pursuer's sick and twisted game — or maybe it's his goal — to get
the best of you, scare you. According to the police, don't speed up and don't
show that you're frightened because these people find intimidation fun. Check
to make sure your doors are locked and windows are up. Remember, if you're locked
in your car, there's little your pursuer can do.
you're being followed, stay on the freeway as long as possible. Here you have
no traffic signals and no potential of getting blocked in. However, you may not
find yourself on a freeway or may not be able to stay on the freeway because it's
taking you into unfamiliar locations. If you end up on surface streets, stick
to well-lighted main boulevards. Don't drive home — you don't want to show
anyone where you live. Drive to the nearest police station. If you don't know
where one is, go to a public place—lots of people and lights — because there's
safety in numbers. Call the police from there. If you go into a bar, play the
damsel in distress. (I guess that's exactly what this case is!) Many a macho man
will jump to your defense. This seems to be one of those "natural" male
reactions that in this case will be completely welcomed.
important to note that when on surface streets, always see to it that you observe some basic rules:
1. Always lock your doors.
2. Keep windows rolled up in locations of questionable
3. Keep a good distance behind the car in front of you, including at
stopped intersections, so you don't get trapped and still will be able to negotiate
your car out of a pinch.
4. If someone approaches your vehicle, do not roll down your window to talk to strangers.
police note that if you don't appear to be riled, the pursuer will will get bored
and give up. Furthermore, the authorities strongly recommend that women always carry
cell phones in their cars for security purposes. In fact, according to Verizon,
after registering the phone without a service carrier, 911 is still accessible.
All you have to do is dial *611 (the local carrier), request 911 and you'll be
patched directly through to the police.
all else, be sure that you remain calm and in control and use common sense. Do not panic! Panic kills. You'll
increase your chances of getting rid of that stalker. As a final reminder, if
a carjacking attempt is made, by all means, give up your car; your life is certainly