Personal safety

Advice for New Drivers

Driving alone can be scary – especially if you’ve just passed your test. Here are a few things you can do to feel safer when you’re out in the car by yourself.

Check over your car before you leave

  • Make sure your vehicle is running well and is properly maintained
  • Remember ‘P.O.W.E.R’ and regularly check your Petrol, Oil, Water, Electrics and Rubber (tyres)
  • Think about joining a breakdown organisation and remember to keep these details in your vehicle. It will be cheaper than paying for a ‘one-off’ tow.

Plan ahead, stay safe and let someone know

  • If you feel scared travelling alone, you should take a mobile phone with you. Make sure it’s fully charged before heading off
  • Always let someone know where you’re going
  • Plan your route and take a map to avoid asking strangers for directions. Stick to main routes where you can
  • Plan your route and take a map
  • Take enough money with you for emergency phone calls
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.

Avoid road rage

  • Even small things can spark a road rage situation. If someone has a go at you, try and remain calm and don’t react angrily or with violent gestures.
  • If you make a mistake, simply hold up your hand to let the other driver know you accept it was your fault. That can often defuse a situation.
  • Avoid eye contact with aggressive or suspicious drivers.
  • If you’re forced to stop, keep your engine running and leave enough room around you to get away.

Know what to do in dangerous situations

  • If a driver gets out and approaches you and you’re unable to drive off safely, flash your lights and sound your horn. If you have an alarm, set it off.
  • Most importantly don’t leave your vehicle; keep the doors locked and the windows up.
  • Make a note of the registration number, model, colour and shape of the other vehicle. A description of the driver might also prove useful so try and remember what they look like, especially anything distinctive about their appearance.
  • Get away from the situation as soon as possible, without speeding or driving recklessly.
  • When it’s safe, pull over to use your mobile phone or a phone box to report the incident to the police.

Use a secured car park

  • When parking your car, look for a secured car park. These car parks have got a police standard of safety and security.
  • If you can’t find a secured car park then find somewhere that is quite busy and well lit at night.
  • If possible reverse into the parking space so that you can get away quickly in an emergency. If using a multi-storey car park choose a space close to the exit and away from pillars if you can.
  • Choose a car park that is well supervised with restricted entry and exit points and CCTV cameras.