Guidelines for Women Driving Alone

Recent statistics show that almost 40% of women feel unsafe whilst driving on their own. However, if you're sensible about your safety and take a few basic precautions, there's no reason to be afraid to drive on your own.

General Preparation

  • Remember that if your car is well maintained, then it is far less likely to break down, leaving you stranded. Have your vehicle regularly serviced, and carry out regular basic checks on the car yourself. Having a little car maintenance know-how will help you to feel more confident.
  • Carry an emergency kit with you at all times; this should include items such as:
    • a coat
    • a blanket
    • sensible shoes
    • a phonecard/ money/ mobile phone
    • a torch
    • jump-leads
    • a towrope
    • a car jack
    • a warning triangle
  • In winter, you should also make sure that you have an ice scraper and de-icer spray handy.

Before You Go

  • If your journey is unfamiliar, plan your route in advance.
  • If you are driving at night, try to choose a route that includes well-lit main roads if possible.
  • Before you set off, let someone know your route, and what time you expect to arrive.

During the Drive

  • Always keep any valuables such as your handbag, mobile phone, wallet or briefcase well out of sight.
  • Keep the doors locked, (especially when driving in towns), and make sure that your windows and sunroof remain only partially open.
  • If you are stuck in a queue or waiting at traffic lights, always make sure that you leave enough room between your car and the one in front of you so that you pull out if necessary.
  • Never offer lifts to strangers.

Dealing with Problems

  • Beware very wary of anyone who signals you to tell you that there is something wrong with your car, unless you know that they are right and that it may be dangerous for you to continue driving.
  • If the police flag you down, you MUST stop. However, if you are worried, ask them to show their identification through the closed window and keep the engine running until you are satisfied that they are genuine.
  • Likewise, if you break down and have contacted a breakdown service or garage mechanic, ask them to show proof of identity before you unlock your car.
  • If you think that someone is following you, drive to the nearest police station or busy, brightly lit place to get help.
  • If someone does try to get into your car, sound your horn and flash your lights to attract attention.

When You Park

  • When parking on the road, choose a busy, well-lit place.
  • If you are in a car park, back into your space so that you can drive away quickly if necessary, and make sure that you make a note which floor and are you have parked in.
  • Always have your car keys ready as you return to the car.