College Bound and Alone Behind the Wheel
As a parent I can tell you that seeing my daughter driving off back to college alone was a stressful experience. The truth is that all of us, from time to time, drive alone and there are things we should be aware of in order to stay safe.
- Make sure your car is well maintained. It is proven that you can significantly decrease your odds of a breakdown with a well-maintained vehicle.
- Always have a full tank of fuel before leaving on a long road trip and never go below half a tank.
- Join a roadside assistance program (Osceola Garage offers free roadside assistance for all its customers)
- Always lock your car doors when not attended and while driving.
- When parking in a parking lot, back into the space, and park as close to the entrance as possible.
- Make sure you park in a well-lighted area, away from shrubs and bushes.
- Always have you keys ready in your hand to open the car door.
- Look around while walking to your car.
- Always plan out your route when taking a road trip and give this information to family and friends with an estimated time of arrival.
- Carry a cell phone with contact numbers. Give family and friends your cell phone number. Carry change with you, you may need it to use a public phone.
- Don’t’ take maps into rest areas. You don’t want to call attention to the fact you are traveling alone.
- Use valet parking, where possible, at hotels and restaurants. Don’t give your house keys along with your car keys to a parking lot attendant.
- Always be aware at intersections for carjackers. Try to stay in the left lane and keep your distance between you and the car in front of you.
- If your car dies, stay inside your car with the doors locked. Use your cell phone to call for help. You should also contact the police. If you don’t have a cell phone, stick a white handkerchief or scarf out the window. If someone does stop to help, stay in your car and ask that person to call for help. Don’t get out and raise the hood, this will block your vision.
- Always be well-rested. Driver fatigue can be a killer. Take breaks often and avoid long drives at night.
- Keep the car’s environment cool and turn the radio up. If you’re tired, do not use cruise control; keep your body involved in the drive. Stop at well-lighted rest areas when taking a break. If you feel yourself dozing off, stop and take a break.