As a student you have a lot on your hands. You’re probably faced with upcoming exams and a pile of assignments you need to hand in. Not to mention attending classes. The last thing you want to be faced with is a possible hijack or a smash and grab. Which is why you should take the necessary precautions to take care of yourself and vehicle.
Keep valuables out of sight
Don’t leave valuables such as sunglasses, laptops, handbags and cell phones lying around on the passenger seat or back seats of your car. It may attract the wrong attention and cause a smash and grab from a thief. When your leave your car put all your valuables in the boot of your car.
Choose a well-lit area in which to stop
Always park in a well-lit area. Thieves operate in dark secluded places because light attracts attention. So you should always choose to park your car in a area with streetlights or where it’ll be highly visible.
Have your keys in hand
When you’re about to approach your car always have your keys in hand. If you still have to rummage through your bag for your car keys it might give a thief the opportunity to attack you.
Lock your doors
When you’re in your car lock your doors immediately. Also don’t waste time by choosing the perfect playlist or scrolling through your phone before driving away. , If a criminal is watching you then sitting idly in your car that’ll gives them enough time to hijack you. You should also lock your doors every time you get out the vehicle. This might seem obvious but lots of cars are stolen each year because of the driver’s carelessness.
Safety in numbers
If you’re planning on studying in the library until late at night it can be scary and reckless to walk in the parking lot alone. Rather choose to leave with a crowd and walk together to the car park. There’s safety in numbers and walking alone can make you an easy target. Or you can ask the security guard to come with you to the car, so you’re protected. A thief isn’t likely to attack you with a security guard around.
Look around you
Always be aware of your surroundings. If you walk around with music blasting on your earphones while texting on your phone, you might not be aware of what’s happening around you. Analyse the area and see if you see any suspicious activity around you. If you see a dodgy character roaming around your car, rather turn and go back inside and ask for help. Don’t approach the person yourself.
Don’t use your back pocket
When you walk to you car, do not put your wallet in the back of your pockets. Rather have your valuables in your front pocket or in a bag slung across your body. If you put your wallet in your back pocket, you give a thief an opportunity to grab it from you.
If you get lost it’s better to go to a garage and ask the petrol attendants for help, rather than stepping out of your car in the middle of nowhere and asking for directions. If you’re driving and you suspect someone is following you don’t stop your car on the side of the road to confront them. Drive your car to the nearest police station in order to get help.
If you get a tyre puncture or your car won’t move, you should call roadside assistance form the safety of inside your locked car. Don’t stand outside your car as it could be dangerous, especially at night. If a stranger wants to help you change tyres you should proceed with caution, not everyone has the best intentions and they could be an opportunistic criminal.
Make sure your car is equipped with an alarm system, car tracker and a gear lock so if a burglar tries to steal it, they’ll be deterred. If your car has a car tracker then when it’s stolen it’ll be tracked down and sent back to you. Tracking systems can be costly but they’re worth the investment because if your car gets stolen you have a higher chance of having it recovered.
Warming up your car
You may wake up each morning to warm up your car outside your place and then quickly go inside to fetch your textbooks or school bag. But you should avoid doing this because a thief may take advantage and see this as the perfect opportunity to steal your vehicle.