As vehicle thefts and hijackings become more prominent we need to increase our vigilance as well. Hopefully some of the suggestions here will be helpful.
Keep your car in good running order to lessen the likelihood of a possible breakdown. Most motor vehicle companies recommend a set of guidelines for routine maintenance. They may seem like a pain but there are reasons for following the recommendations as closely as you can.
Check your spare tire to be sure it is in good shape and has air. Learn how to change a tire yourself so if you should ever have to you will be able to do it.
In your trunk carry a first aid kit, reliable flashlight, a fix-a-flat kit, some water, a package of crackers, electrical tape, and a white handkerchief. Flares or reflective triangles are also a good idea.
Carry your cellular phone charged up in the car if at all possible. By keeping a fully charged battery you will have more "talk-time" available to you in a crisis.
Always be sure that all doors are locked and windows are rolled up. This is to keep someone from trying to get into the car with you.
When you are parking in a lot, even if it is daylight, try to park under or as close to a light as you can. This way, if you should get caught shopping until dark your car will be in a lit area enabling you see if there are any lurkers nearby.
If you have any suspicions at all regarding your safety going to your car go into a store and ask for security to escort you. Don't feel shy. This could make a difference between getting home safely or not getting home at all. Many times people feel insecure to ask for a security escort but thus far I have not encountered a security guard unwilling to do so. It may take a few minutes wait, but if you feel insecure trust your instincts and wait for security.
There may be times when you do feel secure. In that case have your keys ready, carry a small flashlight in your purse and use it. As you walk toward your car keep an eye out for anyone who may be suspicious. Walk past your car and shine your light underneath to see if anyone is hiding there. Should you spot someone keep going right past your car and as casually as possible turn around and go back into the building. Have the police called and wait for them.
Continued on next page