You are most vulnerable to an attack when entering and exiting your vehicle. Simple distractions like putting groceries into the car, or strapping the kids in, are key times that make you a target to any criminal.
You should always be prepared to fight when entering and exiting your vehicle.
Here are some tips to help keep you safe.
1. Plan Your Trip
Know where you are going, and how you are going to get there. Plan routes ahead of time so you do not get lost.
2. Travel in Groups
Instead of going solo, bring a friend or family member along. If you are leaving a store or anywhere late at night, ask for an employee to walk to your car with you. Also, be sure to park in a well lit part of the lot. When getting into your vehicle, be sure everyone is in safely before leaving.
3. Trust Your Instincts
If you feel a sense of danger as you exit a location, turn around and go back inside. If you are fearful of someone you can always call the police and wait for them to arrive before exiting the building.
4. Be Ready to Open the Car Door
Have your keys handy. Products like the Finders Key Purse from Isntthisclever.com. are great products to have because they allow you to keep your keys conveniently on your purse and ready to grab as soon as you need them. They even have a Keep Her Safer kit with pepper spray. and personal alarm. Remember, you may need your keys for self defense, so always have them ready, in your predominant hand for quick use.
Even if you have bags in your hand, have those keys over your index finger and ready to use.
This video explains everything in the kit
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5. Look and Listen
Look around at your surroundings before venturing out. See if there are any unusual people sitting in their cars or on a bench in the distance. Is there a van parked next to your vehicle with tinted windows? Does anyone look out of place? Are there any slow moving vehicles or vans crawling around the lot or street with one or more men inside? Does anyone seem to be lurking, pacing nervously or appear to be hiding behind a wall or pillar? You have to be aware of all of these things.
As you approach your vehicle, do not be on your cell phone. Criminals look for distractions. Always look behind you as you walk and listen for footsteps. Check vehicle and window reflections to see if anyone is behind you.
When walking to your vehicle in a lot, stay in the middle of the road, this will prevent anyone from grabbing you from behind a vehicle. Do not walk in between parked cars to get to your vehicle.
Stairwells can be dangerous. If you feel unsafe using one, Take the ramp or elevator instead.
6. Check From a Distance
Always look under and around your vehicle from a distance. Criminals sometimes hide under or behind your vehicle. Look for any strange objects or persons that may be hiding and looking to grab you or your ankles and pull you down.
As you approach your vehicle, check the bumper areas to make sure no one is squatting behind it. Also, make sure your tires are not flat. You can always walk casually past your vehicle to get a better view to make sure there is no one hiding on the other side.
I don't recommend parking next to pillars, but if you do, always walk past to make sure no one is behind it. Remember to keep a distance. You do not want to be right up next to the pillar as you look. Do it from a distance. This gives you time to run if you have to.
7. CHECK YOUR BACK SEAT
Notice that I have that capitalized, underlined and bold. Always check your back seat before getting into your vehicle. If you have an SUV, check the trunk too. Look through the windows to be sure no one is hiding or crouched down ready to attack.
Use your key fob to unlock your door and trigger the lights on inside your vehicle, if it is dark out, so you can see inside. If you have tinted back windows, use a mini flashlight that is attached to your keychain, to illuminate the interior.
Keep your backseats clear of blankets or large pieces of clothing that can be hid under.
8. Get In Your Car!
Once you realize it is safe to get into your vehicle, do it. Have those keys in your hand, unlock the doors, get inside, close the door and lock yourself in.
9. Double Check Locks and Start The Car.
Press the lock button and make sure you are securely locked inside. If you have manual locks, check all of the doors. Remember, attackers can have slim-jims to unlock a door and know how to use them quickly, so once you start the vehicle, get moving. Do not sit and fidget with the radio or dig in your purse. Many phones have voice commands, if you need to make a call or text, use them. You shouldn't be texting and driving. If you must make a call or text, drive to a safe spot, like a police station lot and make it from there.
10. Check your rear view and side mirrors
Always be aware of any threats if you have to do anything important in the vehicle, like set the GPS. Also, make sure to put your car lights on AUTOMATIC so they turn on as soon as you start the vehicle. This will light up the area in front of your vehicle. Keep your foot on your brakes so that they are brighter and allow you to see more behind you.
If your vehicle has rear view cameras, use them to check for any threats. Do it quickly though, you don't want to be distracted by what can be in front or on the side of you.
Remember, you can always use your horn or car alarm to draw attention to yourself and your vehicle. Some cars have panic alarms that can be set off in case of an emergency.
I hope these tips can help to keep you informed and aware in an emergency.
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Disclosure: I received product to review from Isntthisclever.com. to review. Prize will be awarded by sponsor. All opinions expressed are based on my own personal opinion. Yours may differ. These safety tips are written with my best intentions. Always be sure to check with your local police or safety instructor for proper safety precautions for your area and personal well being.
Some information obtained from Modelmugging.org