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Car Tips for Parents

07 February 2019

Many people go about their regular driving activity on auto-pilot without much awareness or consideration for what is going on around them. If you have children in the car, it’s imperative that you do not become complacent and that you are more aware of the safety hazards around you. Particularly since hijackers and other criminals are becoming brazen and wherever the opportunity presents itself are taking advantage of unsuspecting individual.

A criminal act can happen anywhere and at any time. Here are some precautions for you to keep in mind that will help to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Be prepared

Like life insurance and funeral policies, we don’t want to think about negative circumstances, but it is necessary for you to know what to do in the event of a hijacking, particularly if you have children with you. Vacating the driver’s seat while the children are still buckled in at the back leaves too great an opportunity for the hijacker to move into the seat and drive away before your children are safely out. Therefore, a young child’s car seat should be positioned so that the driver can easily reach back and unbuckle the child, then lift the child to the front and exit the car together.

If, for whatever reason, you are unable to unbuckle your child from the seat while you’re still in the car, try to take the key with you as a “bargaining tool” when you exit. Let the hijackers know that you are going to get your child out of the car seat and the vehicle. Cautiously climb out of the car and move to the back door directly behind the driver’s door. Place one foot firmly in the car on the floor behind the driver’s seat and lean into the car while you unbuckle your child. This way, if the hijacker drives off you will be thrown into the car with your child.

Plan ahead

Know what you are going to do in the event of being hijacked and discuss it with your children if they are old enough to understand. Teach older children how to undo their safety belts, climb to the front of the car, then get out of the car with you and move to safety. They can also be taught how to help younger children, and to hold onto you while you all exit the car at once.

Be safe

Ensure you are aware of your surroundings at all times, whether driving or walking to and from your car. In public spaces, put your mobile phone away and be present with your children so that you don’t get pinpointed as an easy target.

You can become easily distracted when entering or leaving your car, particularly when buckling a baby into a car seat. Attackers are relying on you being distracted and vulnerable, so make it clear to your children that this is not a time to mess around.

Always park your car in a well-lit, properly secured parking area, ideally with security guards on duty. Have your keys ready and don’t talk on your mobile phone while walking to your car. Try to walk to and from your car with another person. If you are out shopping or running errands alone, consider walking near other shoppers in the parking lot or have a security guard accompany you.

Easy access

It is always better to have an electric gate at home, but if you have to get out of the car to manually open the gate, take the key with you if the children are in the car. Once again, this is so that you have a “bargaining tool”. If your children are older, rather have them exit the car with you when opening the gate so that you are all separate from the car should a crime occur. Once you drive into your property stop just inside the gate to make sure that it closes securely before you park. Then, take the children out of the car to safety, before carrying in the shopping.

A helping hand

These days a vehicle tracking service can offer much more than only stolen vehicle recovery. There are many different types of vehicle tracking devices and added services available to the market that offer greater care and protection for the families that invest in them. Premium services can monitor your car and send you notifications on standard risk events like when you are entering high-risk areas. With more inclusive services, as the driver you are able to share your journey with a friend or loved one ensuring that they know where you are and that you are safe. Today’s tracking services are an ideal solution for motorists looking to ensure their personal safety and protect their car.

“Although nobody wants to think about it, it’s important to adequately prepare yourself and have a plan in case of an emergency,” says Ron Knott-Craig, Executive Operational Services at Tracker. “Criminals are most likely to strike when you least expect it, so remain vigilant at all times and stay safe.”