Whether you’re taking the family vehicle to Grandma’s house, or using a rental car to get around after flying to a distant city, these simple car security tips will help ensure your safety on the road:
- To avoid getting lost and possibly ending up in a dangerous situation, study a map and become familiar with your route before you leave. If you’re in an unfamiliar city, ask your host or the hotel staff for detailed directions, write them down, and (if possible) verify with a printed map.
- Make sure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition, especially before leaving for a long trip. If the car is a rental, ensure you know how to operate all the safety and comfort features and equipment before you leave the rental agency lot.
- Don’t leave maps (and/or rental agreement) lying out on the dashboard or passenger seat. Store luggage in the truck, out of sight.
- Keep the doors locked while you’re driving.
- Park only in well lighted areas, as close as possible to building entrances and walkways. Lock the car securely when you leave and take valuables with you or store them out of sight.
- Have your car keys out in your hand and ready for use when approaching the car. Check the back seat and floor before you get in (even if you locked the car when you parked it and it appears to still be locked now).
- If you’re bumped by another car, be careful about where you stop, and think before you unlock your doors or get out of your vehicle. Signal the other driver to follow you to a busy, well-lit area (or the nearest police station, if you know where one is) where it will be more safe to get out. If you have a cell phone, stay in your car with the doors locked and call for assistance.