I was recently invited to join the Sainsbury’s Bank Family Blogger Network and was also asked if I would like to feature a guest post on my blog. As someone who has had her fair share of disastrous car journeys I thought this might be useful to everyone, not just women. As the weather starts to turn and we are busy in the Christmas rush it is always important to stay safe on the roads. Thank you Jeremy for contributing to my blog!
A woman’s guide to safety on the road
For any driver, being safe and feeling safe on the road is of paramount importance. But it’s not unusual for women, in particular, to feel vulnerable when travelling alone.
Here are some tips that can help you to step into your vehicle with confidence.
Plan your long journey
One way to reduce anxiety about travelling alone is to plan your route in advance. There are many useful websites available for this, such as the AA Route Planner.
A good alternative is the Via Michelin site, which offers you several routes to choose from, as well as other pertinent information. You can choose the most economical route, or use the sightseeing option to find out about pleasant places to stop on your journey.
A good sat nav will also help you to be sure of your route. But whatever navigational tool you use, knowing where you are going and how to get there can make you feel more comfortable and confident in the car.
Before setting off on any long journey, check your oil and coolant levels, screen wash and tyre pressure. Most of these tasks are straightforward, but can make all the difference when it comes to preventing a breakdown.
If you are unsure, ask a friend for help, or contact a professional mechanic to help you understand a little more about vehicle maintenance. If you don’t mind spending the money, you can also book your car into your local garage for a quick once over and service.
It pays to be prepared in case you do break down. In winter, pack warm clothes, a blanket, a torch, a high-visibility jacket and a warning triangle. Be sure to have a fully charged mobile phone with you: you can buy phone chargers that plug into your car.
Breakdown cover might be a good idea if you are planning a long journey on your own. It is reassuring to know that you can get assistance quickly and easily, should you need it.
A good car insurance policy sometimes includes breakdown cover as standard, or you can pay to add it to your policy. When acquiring a new car insurance quote, be vigilant for other extras which might be available, such as overnight accommodation in the event of a breakdown.
On the road
If you feel vulnerable on the road, there are several things you can do to stay safe in the car.
In static traffic, lock your doors and wind up your windows.
Do not respond to anyone (other than the police) who approaches you while you’re in your vehicle, or signals for you to pull over.
Don’t leave valuables on display in the car, and don’t drive with your handbag on the passenger seat. There’s no harm in being overly cautious, and keeping valuables out of sight can reduce the chances of anyone attempting to gain access to your vehicle.
Follow these guidelines and you can feel safer on the road and more confident about travelling alone.
A little bit about the author:
Jeremy Chapman is a regular contributor to the Sainsbury’s Bank Money Matters blog, and loves writing about driving. In his spare time he can usually be found making himself giddy in a Go Kart!