In-car crimes are rare on the news, but when you hear one, you take notice. They are scary stories, sometimes myths, that drive many people (mostly women) crazy with paranoia before, during, and after driving. It’s easy to play the “what if” game after hearing a story about a creeper hiding under a car, or with fake cops constantly pulling over young women at night. The reality is, while a creepy car crime is not likely, you can never be too careful. Follow these quick tips to maximize your driving safety when your car’s not in “drive.”
Most cars have an automatic lock function that secures you inside your vehicle seconds after you’ve shut all the doors and started the car. If it doesn’t, do it yourself. This will minimize the chances of a stranger jumping in at a red light or stop sign, especially during early morning commutes.
The Buddy System
There is absolutely no shame in asking a grocery store manager or fellow coworker to walk you out of a building. Parking in well-lit areas and front spaces keeps you in the line of sight of more people, and minimizes the time you are hauling $200 worth the groceries to your trunk. If you are too shy to ask someone, position yourself in a group of people walking out, or time your leaving work with other coworkers.
Your mace or protective whistle may be great while you’re walking, but your car has its own secret built in weapons—the car horn, and the alarm system. If you ever find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, setting off either of these will immediately draw attention to yourself and your vehicle. And, when in doubt, make your way back into a nearby building to make a call. Also, don’t let your purse or pockets increase your time standing outside your car. Have keys out and ready as your walking rather than emptying your handbag onto your trunk. In general, your instincts are usually not wrong—just make sure you’re using them for more than just feeling out where the nearest Starbucks is.