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While rushing between school runs and meetings, or even hitting the open road for a weekend away, women can be easier targets for hijacking and other criminal activities when they are driving. It’s important to stay alert when behind the wheel in order to pre-empt possible scenarios while also taking in your surroundings to ensure safety.

Charlette Roetz, Head of Marketing at Tracker, says that although women are regarded in the insurance industry as safer drivers or less likely to be in an accident, they can however be more vulnerable when travelling in their car than men. “We often drive alone as we go about our day to day tasks. But simply locking our car doors is no guarantee that we’ll arrive at our destination safely, so it’s important to err on the side of caution and plan our trips accordingly.”

Below are 10 tips to improve your safety on the road and to keep your friends updated on your travel status – these tips are easy to follow and suited to drivers of all ages.

1. Share your journey through a vehicle tracking app with a friend or family member. “This is an easy way to keep them updated without having to take several phone calls whilst driving to find out your estimated time of arrival.”

2. Plan your trip in advance. Know how long your drive will be and if there are roadworks so you can gauge if you need to find a different route and ensure you arrive timeously.

3. Have enough fuel or a full tank. Ensure you have enough fuel to get you through your journey without having to make any unplanned stops.

4. Invest in roadside assistance from a trusted provider. “When driving alone, it’s always risky to pull over on the side of the road when your car breaks down, to change a tyre, or check on a strange noise coming from your car. By subscribing to a personal armed response service and a roadside assistance service, they can be at your side to guard your safety until you are back on the road.”

5. Plan your breaks. “When pulling over to refuel or stretch your legs, ensure you're safe by aiming for high traffic areas such as reputable forecourts where other travellers will be stopping to rest too – they also have cameras for extra peace of mind.”

6. Do a pre-road trip safety check. Before you jump in a car or embark on a road trip, ensure your car is running properly, check your tyres and make sure your phone is fully charged in case you need assistance.

7. Lock your doors. “Remote jamming is on the increase so always double-check that your doors are actually locked when you park, and when coming back to your car, check the backseat before getting in.”

8. Use your wits at intersections. Consider how far to stop behind a vehicle to ensure you can easily manoeuvre past them in case of an emergency, and always keep an eye on your surroundings when stopped.

9. Assistance in the event of an accident. “Certain subscribed services offer impact detection capabilities that can alert a trusted partner to your predicament. Assistance can then be dispatched to you without needing to call for it, especially in the event you are rendered unconscious or cannot fend for yourself.”

10. Ensure you have access to your children on the backseat. “During a hijacking or accident, moms with small children or babies will need access to their children quickly. If you’re travelling with one child, seat them directly behind you to make it easier to help your child out of the car. If you are travelling with two or more children, seat the eldest child behind you, and teach them how to loosen their seatbelts and assist their younger sibling while you make your way to them quickly.”

It's important to be prepared for all scenarios. “Planning is key and a roadside assistance service is fast becoming an non-negotiable too. Greater peace of mind from a trusted roadside assistance, accident assistance or personal protection service will free you up to focus on the road ahead when driving and getting to your destination safely,” concludes Roetz.