Car Safety Hacks for Women

By Fazlin Karriem

We have a special treat for you today. Please join me in welcoming Fazlin Karriem, a guest contributor to Daniella’s Ramblings. Thank you for contributing Fazlin. We look forward to seeing more of your content on this site.

Tips and tricks for the luscious lady who loves her ride!

So, we’ve all been there. Slowly edging forward, wondering if we should just jump this lonely robot (we call traffic lights ‘robots’ in South Africa, why? Who knows…) because our internal warning bells are going insane. While dodgy characters loom, ever more sinister as the seconds tick by… FINALLY it’s green for you to go – and bam! Your beloved car fails you and you’re stuck in dodgy-bra-ville. Aaaahhhhh! What do you do next?! It’s basically the beginning of that nightmarish movie you watched with your beau a few days back!

Hehehe, well drama aside, we should all be aware of the dangers we face when out and about. Transwomen, whether full or part timers should be aware that when presenting as male, they are significantly less at risk of being the victim of an assault, than when they are presenting as female. This is an unfortunate reality and whilst we may wish it were not so, it is what it is. Also, I am not suggesting that men are immune, they obviously face risks and dangers too, but women are at greater risk for all sorts of reasons. South Africans are perhaps more concerned about the dangers we face than people elsewhere in the world, but we should all pay attention to our safety. I’ve therefore cooked up a few go-to tips to get a girl out of a stitch in just a few steps.

Tip 1 – Jump the lonely robot

If it is safe to do so, treat the deserted traffic light as a stop street, especially if you are in a high crime area at night and you’re driving alone. Sitting at a traffic light when nobody is around automatically puts a bullseye on the back window of your car. Obviously, I am loath to promote illegal activity, but this is the lesser of the two evils. Just be sure that the road is clear of traffic and pedestrians. Be sure to look out for vehicles that may be driving without lights and pedestrians can be especially hard to see at night. Proceed with caution.

Tip 2 – Be careful where you park

Find a well-lit spot that is easily seen, whether it’s indoors or out. If you plan on being out late at night (whether for work or pleasure); and didn’t get a ‘good’ parking when you arrived, keep an eye out for a better spot and take a moment to move your car while there’s still lots of movement outside. Avoid spots where few cars are parked and greet your car park attendant, it will make them more aware of your vehicle and they will also keep an eye out for you when you return (also it’s an unspoken way of saying you will tip if your car is safe upon your return, so do that as well).

Tip 3 – Always have your keys in hand

If you’re about to leave the building to walk toward your car make sure you have your keys in hand. You can’t be digging around in your handbag for your keys, especially if you need to get into your car quickly – should things turn sour.

Tip 4 – Always let someone know where you are going

Before you head out alone, let someone know where you are heading, when you expect to be there and when you expect to get back. This allows for point of reference should you ever be hi-jacked or taken (God forbid). It’s also I great way of planning ahead, especially if you are going to a new location, map the route so you don’t get lost. Don’t forget to check-in with that person from time to time. It is no fun having your big night out interrupted by armed security guards and or the police searching for you at your last known location, just because you forgot to tell Aunty May that you had arrived at Beefcake’s on time as planned!

Tip 5 – Pay attention to the vehicles around you

If you have any suspicion that you’re being followed, alert a loved one and stay on call (via hands-free) with them noting your location. In the case where you see adjacent cars pulling up fast, or coming up fast behind you – honk your horn continuously, check if it is safe to proceed and drive toward a populated area – like a mall, or better yet, a police station, provided you know where it is, and it is safe to get there.

Tip 6 – Use all your car’s safety features

Lock the doors, rollup your windows to the point where it’s impossible to stick your finger in through the opening and store your handbag under the passenger seat or in your boot. Keep your pepper spray/taser in the door panel of the driver’s door for easy access. Stow flats under driver seat for a quick change should you need to run the moment you leave your car. You can also consider installing anti smash film on your car windows if you don’t already have it.

When you’re a woman driving alone, car crashes are far from the only risk you face. Hi-jacking, abduction and smash-and-grab incidents as well as being targeted by sexual predators – all pose additional hazards for women.  So stay safe ladies and always listen to your gut, this article was sponsored by CarZar – an online car purchasing company. Delivering free inspections, valuations and guaranteed, same-day cash offers based on the quote. Get a free car evaluation quote online.

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