Security in Your Vehicle

Before You Drive - Car Condition
  • Keep your car well maintained.
  • Always keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Purchase or lease a cell phone. Keep it charged or buy a cigarette lighter adapter for power and recharging.
Driving
  • Be observant and aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Keep car doors locked and windows closed at all times.
  • Don’t pick up hitchhikers.
  • Don’t stop to help a stranger in a stalled vehicle. Go to a safe place and report it to police.
  • If you are being followed, don’t go home. Drive to a place with people around—a police or fire station or an open gas station.
  • If someone tries to break into your car while you are in it, honk the horn in short and long bursts and try to drive them away.
Car trouble
If you have car trouble, raise the hood and stay in the vehicle. If someone offers assistance, either roll the window down just enough to talk to them or write them a note. Ask them to phone the police.

Parking
  • Park in well-lit areas that are close to your destination.
  • Always lock vehicle when unattended.
  • If you leave your keys with a parking attendant or at a service station, leave only the car (not your house) key. If possible, leave a “valet” key (one that doesn’t work on the trunk), and put your valuables in the trunk. Take your garage door opener, registration, and insurance card with you.
  • Alternate parking places rather than park in the same place every day.
Returning to your vehicle
  • Always have your keys ready to unlock the car door and enter without delay. You can appear vulnerable if you look for your keys as you approach your car.
  • Carry a small light on your key chain to see the car or house door lock easier.
  • If security staff are available to walk you to your car, don’t be embarrassed to ask for an escort.
  • Check inside your car before getting in. Be sure to check the back seat.
  • Look for any signs of tampering with your vehicle.