Rebecca Sounds Reveille – 7 Tips to Protect Yourself in the Car – Episode 5 of the 7 series
WATCH SHOW BELOW INTRO ARTICLE
By TLB Media Director & RSR Show Host: Rebecca L. Mahan
The invention of the wheel was a game changer in transportation. We went from the covered wagon to SUV’s and a whole lot in between. What hasn’t changed from the old west to now is the need to be safe while on the road; whether it be a quick jaunt to the store, to work, or traveling across the county, the need for protection still exists.
Statistics have shown car accidents are more likely to occur within a 25 mile radius of your home and The Office of Justice, Bureau of Statistics website shows some very interesting numbers. The site details the most likely place for a carjacking to occur and the percent and type of weapons used during the incident. Here are the highlights:
- Carjacking rates were higher on average during the first 5 years of the 1993-2002 period (2.1 per 10,000 persons each year) than during the last 5 years (1.3 per 10,000).
- Carjacking victimization rates were highest in urban areas, followed by suburban and rural areas. Ninety-three percent of carjackings occurred in cities or suburbs.
- A weapon was used in 74% of carjacking victimizations. Firearms were used in 45% of carjackings, knives in 11% and other weapons in 18%.
(Part of the Carjackings in the United States Series)
Many things can place you as a victim of a crime while driving or being a passenger in a car. Therefore, it is crucial to do what you can to protect yourself.
Here are a few tips to protect yourself in the car:
• Parking- Anytime you park your vehicle, choose a location that is well lit. You want to be able to see the interior of your car before you enter it.
• Visual Inspection- Always, always, always look in your car prior to entering it. You want to ensure no one has entered and hid inside. After checking the interior, check the handles and window seals of your car to ensure no one has tampered with the locks and attempted to gain entry. Check the area around your car before entering, while parked, while stopped at a stop sign or red light, and while you are driving.
• Keeping car doors locked- Doors should be locked on the vehicle immediately upon entering and exiting the vehicle. This prevents someone getting in while you are in the car and while you are out of the car. One of the most common questions by police and insurance companies when vehicle crimes are reported is- were the car doors locked? (Note: in some states this may determine the type of crime committed. For example, whether the crime is a theft or burglary.)
• Video- Video systems to record what is happening in front of you can not only be helpful in the event of an accident, but can be a tool to record a perpetrator attempting to harm you. There are video systems that plug into your car’s adapter (what used to be called the cigarette lighter adapter) and attached to your interior windshield or rear view mirror. When looking for a good video system, look for one that will stay in one place but allows the camera to swivel in a complete circle. This type will allow you to move the camera in the direction to capture evidence law enforcement will need. Also obtain on that has an SD card and purchase on that has space to hold a lot of recordings.
• Flashlights and multi-tools- Keeps flashlights in the front, middle, and rear or trunk of the car, in addition to seat belt cutters. These tools can be used for lighting and self defense, as well as, if you were to become trapped in the car. Waiting for emergency personnel during an accident can be important for bones broken in certain places, but there may be a time when getting out of the vehicle prior to waiting for help is necessary. An example would be, a vehicle fire. In this type of situation, you can used the seat belt cutter to remove yourself or a passenger in the event the seat belt mechanism does not release the belt. Then you can use the handle of the flashlight to break a window(s) and then climb out.
• Old cell phones- Keep old cell phones charged up and programmed with 9-1-1 as the number that will be dialed the moment the caller presses the “send” or “call” feature. These cell phones do not need to have a monthly plan or carrier connected to them. Cell phones will 9-1-1 without any plans.There should be a phone in the main part of the car, accessible to the driver and one somewhere a passenger could retrieve it. There should also be one hidden in the trunk.
• Purses and Valuables- All purses and valuables should not be able to be seen when standing near your vehicle. This invites crimes of opportunity and gives the perpetrator an indication that you are carelessness and do not pay attention to your surroundings. Not only can your property be taken, but this can mean you can be physically harmed too.
• Bonus tip! Distractions- If your attention is not on your surroundings or focused on the road, you are more likely to become involved in some type of crime. The spectrum from a physical attack to a car accident can be prevented merely from being alert. Keep your head up, monitor your surroundings, don’t be talking/texting on your phone, and use the above methods to prevent becoming a victim.
• Added Bonus tip! Routes- Know as many routes to and from the various destinations you drive. Take a different route if possible each time. This is helpful if you suspect you are being followed. In that event, drive to the nearest police or fire station. Do not drive home!
There are many, many more things you can do to protect yourself. These tips are to get you thinking about what you can do.
Watch this educational and thought provoking presentation …
TLB Note: As you will immediately notice, the green screen function for Rebecca’s show was malfunctioning. This was not apparent during recording, but the information is of enough consequence that we feel (with Rebecca’s OK) this can be overlooked in lieu of said message. We thank you for your considerations.
Click on this link to research, find, and purchase products to protect yourself at home, on the go, and even online: Damsel In Defense
See more episodes of Rebecca’s ‘7 Series’ by clicking on the links below:
Parting Shot: STAY ALERT!
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About your host Rebecca L. Mahan: Rebecca is The Liberty Beacon Project Media Director, Host of TLBTV’s Rebecca Sounds Reveille, a United Stated Marine Corps veteran and a retired police officer of over 10 years. Rebecca is a published author and had been a long running columnist for a community college newspaper. She has also been an award winning radio show host and has produced, booked, and interviewed guests for her shows. Her education includes: Associates degrees in Christian Studies, General Education, General Business Management, and Law Enforcement. Rebecca also has a Bachelor’s degrees in Church Ministry and Occupational Studies -Vocational Arts, as well as a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies. She is a certified Mediator and Event Planner.
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