Sponsored Content, By Chelsea Bancroft, Photo by Shelby Borga

Chelsea Bancroft -

Generally, I feel pretty safe driving in Austin, but every now and then, I’ll find myself a little nervous driving alone at night. While drivers usually have nothing to worry about, and most of these tips are common sense, it is good to remember some of the things you can do to stay safe while driving alone.

Make sure your car is well-maintained.

Always be sure to get your regularly scheduled factory maintenance; a well-maintained car is much less likely to break down. Are you going on a long trip? Have a safety check done first for peace of mind. We do these all the time at our Roger Beasley dealerships.

Have a plan if your car breaks down.

Accidents and vehicle breakdowns can happen. Make sure you have a plan for if it does. Don’t be ashamed to call for help. AAA is a great option for roadside assistance. If you’re feeling uneasy about being stuck somewhere at night, call a friend or the police to come wait with you.

Don’t let the gas tank reach empty.

Make a habit of filling up your car’s gas tank when it hits a quarter of a tank versus waiting for the alert to come on. This will ensure you don’t have to worry about running out of gas.

Don’t stop for strangers.

As much as you might feel inclined to stop and help someone on the side of the road, it’s important to remember your own safety comes first. If you see someone pulled over in an unpopulated area, the best option is to call the police or a roadside-assistance service and alert them to the vehicle and its location.

Keep valuables out of sight.

This one is probably a no-brainer. Leaving valuables in the open in your car is just asking for it to be broken into. Always take your valuables with you or hide them out of sight when you leave your vehicle.

Be alert when parking.

Avoid parking in remote, isolated areas of a parking lot, particularly at night and if it’s not well-lit. When walking to and from your car, resist the urge to scroll through your phone. It’s important to be alert and aware of your surroundings.

Have your car keys out already.

Luckily, many vehicles have keyless entry, but for those that don’t, don’t wait until you are at your vehicle to fish your keys out of your purse. It’s best to have them out and ready so you can get into your vehicle as quickly as possible, especially at night.

Lock the doors and windows.

Every time you get into your car, make a habit of locking the doors. It’s better to be overly cautious.

Protect yourself.

Many women opt to carry pepper spray or another self-defense tool on their key rings. I keep pepper spray in my car because it makes me feel safer driving at night by myself. And always keep your phone charged, in case you need to use it in an emergency.

While I hope you don’t find yourself in an unsafe situation, I hope these tips help you feel a little safer driving alone.

Chelsea Bancroft is the strategic-partnerships and social-mediamanager at Roger Beasley Mazda and a blogger at. onechelofanadventure.com.



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