Here’s the second part of my post last week about tips on avoiding carjacking, abduction and other crimes when women are traveling alone.

  1. Keep your vehicle well serviced. A poorly maintained engine can let you down at exactly the wrong time and place. So, a well maintained car is a good road buddy. There are particular parts in the car that should be given much attention like the batteries that should be charged recently or tested in cold weather. Also, the tires that are long in the tooth and short in the tread can go flat just when they’re needed most. So keeping up proper maintenance on your car’s vulnerable parts can go a long way toward avoiding a bad situation.
  2. Use all of your car’s safety and security features. Your car which is employed with security features should be used in moment that you need it the most or when you sense the first sign of trouble. There are cars equipped with modern safety equipments like the one made by General Motors and Volvo Cars. Each car by GM is employed with OnStar and other telematics systems let you call an operator at the first sign of trouble and can be used to pinpoint your location. They also alert police and medical authorities if you are in a serious crash. Volvo, a Swedish luxury auto brand, is also famed for safety. No wonder their cars top crash tests. To learn more about your car’s feature…. Read the manual — you may not even know how your car can help protect you. REMEMBER: When you’re buying a new car, factor both vehicle safety and personal security options into your decision.
  3. Have a plan when trouble arises. If confronted by a potential abductor or carjacker while you’re in or around your car, drop your packages and run, while making lots of noise. This strategy is effective according to experts. They say most criminals will quit right there. What you want to avoid at all costs is going with them to another location, even if they say you won’t be hurt. In moments that you no longer have control of the situation, you have few options: (1) If you’re being followed by another car, head to a police station (2) Call 911 for information on how to get there or a gas station. (3) If you are driving and you discover someone hiding in your backseat, slam on your brakes to throw them off balance, put the car in park and run.
  4. Always let someone know where you’re going. Frank Scafidi, spokesman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and a former FBI agent, recommends that kind of caution for far shorter trips when women are driving alone. The back-up person can alert police quickly if you fail to return on schedule, saving critical time — and perhaps your life.

I have this familiar experience two years ago when I moved in my new apartment few blocks away from my dad’s place. It was Friday evening when a stranger keeps on following me on my way home. I immediately call my dad and tell him about the situation. He gives me an instruction to go on the nearby gasoline station and call 911. Good thing my brother John was on that gas station that night, he’s really a blessing in disguise. Immediately we reported what happened in the nearby police station. From that experience, I see to it that my dad or my mom knows where I am going. Sometimes I leave a note on my desk for my secretary to know where I am going. From these I can be sure that whatever may happen on the road, somebody knew the place where they will look for me when emergency arises.