Don’t Be A Target: 5 Easy Driver Safety Tips

Most of us think of our car as a private sanctuary, and tend to forget that just as we can look out, the public can look in. Because we consider ourselves in a safe little bubble, we often forget about commonsense car safety tips that every driver should follow. We’re often reminded to fasten our seat belts, warned against driving and texting, and to recruit a designated driver if we’re spending an evening where cocktails are served. But too often, we neglect to consider the common, every day driver safety tips that will make our time in the car more secure.

The following car safety tips remind us that staying safe is often simply starting good habits.

  1. Stash Your Valuables: When you’re driving alone in the car, do not lay your purse, briefcase or expensive smart phone on the empty passenger seat. Open car windows or convertibles are an easy target for thieves, but when you’re stopped at a light it only takes a thief 2 seconds to smash and grab. While driving store your personals under the driver’s seat or on the floor of the passengers’ seat, where they are not obvious to a thief looking for an easy target.
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  3. Use Your Trunk: Running errands from store to store, it’s easy to just throw your shopping bags in the back seat, and drive on to the next parking lot. Just as it’s easy for you to toss the bags in the back seat, it’s easy for a thief to see that you have bags in the back seat. A thief can quickly smash the window or pop the lock and your bags will be gone. With most consumers leaving their receipts in the bag, your purchase can easily be converted to cash. Take the extra 30 seconds and store your purchases in the trunk.
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  5. Turn Your Car Off and Remove Keys When Getting Gas: Everyone knows this, right? Wrong! Go to a gas station, and instead of paying attention to your car observe the other drivers. A significant percentage of drivers leave their car running while they’re filling the gas tank, and many others turn off the ignition but leave the keys in the ignition with the door wide open while they turn their back to operate the gas tanks. Always turn off the car, remove the keys from the ignition, and lock your car doors when you’re driving alone and need to fill the gas tank.
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    *did you know: Illinois law requires you to turn off the engine when you leave your car unattended ~ Illinois Motor Vehicle Code
     

  7. Keep Your Car Keys On A Separable Key Chain: Most drivers have their car keys conveniently on a single key chain with their other important keys such as house keys, gym keys, or mailbox keys and store loyalty fobs. This makes your key chain very attractive to parking attendants, valets, or car repair shops. Use two sets of keys, or purchase the type of key chain where your car keys easily unsnap from the main keychain. Then, hand over your car keys, and not the keys to your front door.
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  9. Don’t Leave Your Car Keys Inside Your Car: Many newer car doors are programmed to lock automatically when the driver gets out of the car and closes the door. And many drivers who are taking a quick step out of the car – to throw away trash, stop at a friend’s, or run quickly into their own home – thoughtlessly toss their keys on the seat or the dash while they step away, and get locked out of their own car. Always pocket your car keys when you exit your car, and if your doors don’t lock automatically, always lock your car when you step away, even for a just a few minutes.

Share these driver safety tips with a driver you care about: and be sure to train your children on the rules of commonsense driver security.

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