“In ourselves our safety must be sought. By our own right hand it must be wrought” – William Wordsworth, 1770 to 1850.
What about car safety?
- Ensure its roadworthy at all times.
- Keep the gas tank full at all times.
- Spare tyre and accessories in good working order.
- Small fire extinguisher within reach.
- Working flashlight.
- Local road map.
- Make sure the car is insured and has all statutory requirements
- Keep a list of all emergency telephone numbers.
On the move?
- When getting in or out your vehicle, look around.
- LOCK your door once you get in your vehicle.
- Watch for motorcycles that stop next to your vehicle, particularly if there are two riders.
- Always park with the front of the vehicle facing out.
- Communicate travel plans and arrangements to close friends or associates.
- Avoid routine. Learn different routes to and from places you regularly travel to or visit.
- Keep car doors locked and windows closed except for essential ventilation. If travelling alone, ensure the passenger windows are up and all doors locked.
- Do not offer a lift, or open doors or windows to anyone.
- Do not get too close to the vehicle in front of you. When you stop in traffic give yourself enough space so you can move without having to wait for the vehicle in front of you to do so.
- Do not stop to provide assistance if you see an accident. Call the Police.
- When at traffic lights, do not open purses or wallets in front of windscreen cleaners or newspaper sellers. Keep small change in the ashtray or dashboard.
- Keep on busy main roads and thoroughfares, especially at night.
- Put all bags, packages, briefcases etc., on the floor, preferably under the seat and out of sight.
- If travelling to rural areas try to restrict travel to daylight hours.
- If you are on the road late at night or early in the morning (before daylight) do the following at traffic lights:
- If the lights are red, stop and proceed forward cautiously, keeping the car in a low gear and in readiness to move off if it becomes necessary. If there are no vehicles approaching, keep driving. If there is a Police car present, abide by regular rules of the road. Watch for persons hanging around or loitering.
- Learn to avoid areas prone to trouble.
- Stay out of depressed communities, and away from routs you don’t know, especially at night.
- When parking your vehicle at restaurants, bars or clubs, park in sight of the security personnel or in car parks manned by security personnel. Ask for an escort to your vehicle when leaving.
- When approaching your vehicle always have the door and ignition key in your hand. Remember to lock your car doors once you are inside.
- At all night entertainment locations, whether restaurant, club, bar, etc., there are numerous entrepreneurs/hustlers who will offer to watch or wash your vehicle for you. If you do not require this service say so firmly and politely. If you are going to tip them do not display wallets, purses, etc.
- If your vehicle is hit at night do not stop and get out of your vehicle. Drive to the nearest Police Station and make a report. If it is possible identify the vehicle that ran into you, but not if you put yourself at risk.
On the way home?
- If on returning home there are any strangers at or near your gate, do not stop. Call the Police immediately.
- Take notice of vehicles driving behind you. If the same vehicle has been with you for a while do not stop at your gate. It is better to drive around the block to ensure your safety.
- Cellular phones should be carried at all times. Ensure batteries are fully charged. Do not leave cellular phones in parked vehicles.
- DO NOT USE your cellular while driving. You easily lose 50% of your concentration and become a danger to other road users & pedestrians.
- Always carry a small amount of cash that can be handed over if confronted by robbers. Do not overtly display valuable personal property such as jewellery, cameras, etc.
- Avoid confrontation if at all possible.