When I am out and about you can generally find my transportation to be that of a car. We named ours Peggy, and she's good at adventuring and errands both. The only time I have ever been frightened in my car is when a friend scared me. I was sitting in the drivers seat, windows down, checking my phone before I headed out. He walked up to the car and spoke to me through the passenger's side back window. Had it not been someone with good intentions I would have been in trouble. I have heard other stories, though, of close calls and near misses. There are things we all need to consider about staying safe in and around our car.
- Don't take anything for granted when you go to your car outside your own home, or even opening your garage door. Keep your eyes open, stay alert, and if someone happens to be walking by give them a large berth.
- Whenever you get in your car the first thing you should do is lock your door. Before you look at your phone or start your car, as the door closes simply push that little button and lock yourself in. And anyone else out.
- The same goes when you get out of the car. Many cars these days unlock all the doors when you (1) turn the car off or (2) open the driver door. There may be a way to keep this from happening, check your operator's manual, but you can also push that little button before you even close the door as you are getting out. If others are with you, or you have children to get out, obviously that might need to be timed differently, but the point is to go ahead and lock the door as soon as you can when you are out of it. Not when you are half way between the car and the store you are entering.
- Don't unlock the door when you are half way between the car and the store you are leaving, either. That allows anyone who may be watching to know exactly where you are going. Wait until you are at the car before you unlock with your key fob.
- Don't hit that key fob twice unless you have others with you. There's simply no reason to completely unlock the car when you are by yourself. Most key fobs unlock just the driver door with a single push of the button. Check your operator's manual to change this if needed.
- Pay attention to who is around you before you get in the car, when you are putting packages in the back, or when you are putting children in their car seats. Sometimes sliding in the car and locking the doors isn't possible. Being aware of who is around you will help in these situations. If someone begins to approach the car simply noticing them may keep them going.
- Don't talk on your phone, dig for your keys, or balance your bags on the way to the car. Even struggling with your kids or being deep in conversation with someone will leave you vulnerable. Straighten everything before you leave the store. Have your keys and your children in hand as you step into the parking lot. Take care of the phone in the store. Be aware looking around as you walk to the car.
- Don't sit in the car with your windows open and doors unlocked. Generally this happens when we are on our phone, so our attention is absorbed by something that is keeping our eyes anywhere from the windows, and we are vulnerable if anyone wanted to attack us or get in the car.
- The car is not as important as you are. If someone tries to take your car let them have it if they already have the advantage. The car is also a deadly weapon, be careful how you use it to defend yourself.
We all find ourselves in cars occasionally, and too often we take these things for granted. Yet stories abound of people who were robbed at gun point in their vehicles in parking lots in the middle of the day, or women who were kidnapped, raped, or killed near their vehicle as they were heading to the store. Pay attention, take precautions, increase your odds of going where you need to and doing what you must. It really doesn't take a lot of work, but the little bit of thought will make a difference.
(( On Facebook this week I shared thoughts about control within a relationship, a video from Pretty Loaded Safety on running, thoughts from Mariah Jean on who we are between who we were and who we want to be, thoughts on the warrior mindset, and repetition. Did you get to see these? Go check out the Facebook page to see what you've missed, and like the page so you don't miss any thing else!))