Contrary to popular belief, the insurance industry regards women ‘’safer” drivers than men, and considers them less likely to be involved in road accidents, this is according to Arrive Alive.
All aspects of road safety are critical, however, this Women’s Month Midas highlights safety advice for women as often female motorists can be more vulnerable to criminal activities on the road. “Ladies need to be extra careful and alert, particularly when driving on their own or with children. Women are often perceived as ‘easy targets’ and because of this they unfortunately need to be extra vigilant on the road,” says Brett Ferreira, Franchise Executive, Midas.
In an effort to highlight road and travel safety for women this Women’s Month, Midas offers the following 5 tips and precautions to help enhance the safety of female drivers:
1. Keep your vehicle in good condition and always have enough fuel
A well-maintained car is less likely to break down, always make sure our car has had its regular service and it’s in good working condition, this includes having your wiper blades, brakes and tyres checked. While it’s easy to get into the habit of waiting for the warning light before refueling, especially since the fuel price has increased so dramatically, it’s best to keep your tank half full at a minimum. When you’re not running on fumes you’ll be able to drive to safety should you suspect you’re being followed or feel threatened.
2. Know your way around
Always plan your route, not only when you’re driving in an unfamiliar environment, but also on your usual day-to-day travel. Keep to busier, well-lit roads and use highways wherever possible at night, as robots are hotspots for criminal activity.
Technological units such as a GPS or applications such as Waze make planning your route easier and even let you know where to expect traffic on your journey. Always let someone know where you are going and what route you’re taking. Whatsapp offers a tool to send a location so your route can be tracked in realtime, how cool is that!
3. Keep distractions to a minimum
Turn your music down so you’re not distracted by “all the single ladies” blaring on the radio and avoid being on your mobile phone, even if it’s on handsfree. Be aware of your surroundings as distractions, including noisy kids, make you an easy target for hijackers and smash-and-grabs.
4. Safety first at all times
Rule number one, lock your doors at all times and keep all windows closed!
Always leave enough space from the car in front of you so you can pull off in an emergency. Be alert of your surroundings and always try to identify an escape route, like a slip road or an intersection so you can quickly get away if you identify a threat.
Always put everything in your boot, regardless of whether it’s a handbag, jacket or your gym bag.
Should you find yourself stuck on the side of the road, keep your doors locked and stay inside the car. Never open your door for anyone you don’t know. If you have a flat tyre in a dark or dangerous location, drive slowly to the nearest service station or public place. Don’t worry about ruining the rims, it could be a matter of life or death. Always have a spare tyre on hand.
5. Make sure you’re kitted out
In case of an emergency, always make sure your cellular phone is fully charged, especially at the end of the day when you run low on battery charge. Make sure to add emergency contact numbers to your phone.
Keep an emergency kit available at all times, this should at least include a flashlight, a small tool kit with appropriate screwdrivers and an adjustable wrench, jumper cables, triangle, reflector vesta nd a charging cable.
“It’s critical that women know what to look out for while on the road and should they feel their safety is threatened it’s important they know how to respond quickly and calmy. We hope that by adopting these safety habits and being prepared for the wost, women can make themselves less vulnerable on our roads,” concludes Ferreira.