Plan your route, keep a map and torch in your vehicle and keep to well-used routes where possible. If you’re going on a long journey, make sure your vehicle is in good condition and has enough petrol. It would also be useful to ensure your mobile phone is charged, in case you need to for roadside assistance or the police in an emergency.
If you break down, put your hazard warning lights on. When calling for help, let the police or the breakdown recovery staff know if you are alone and sit in the front passenger seat of your vehicle and lock the doors.
If broken down on a motorway, it is safer to sit away from your car on the embankment, leaving the passenger door open. Don’t accept lifts from people you don’t know. Wait for the police or breakdown services.
If someone is trying to flag you down for help, don’t stop. Keep driving until you get to the next public place and you can help them by informing the police. This way you don’t put yourself at risk.
Being followed or approached by a vehicle
If you think you are being followed, don’t drive home. Go to a safe public place like a police station or a 24 hour garage to ask for help. Draw attention to yourself by sounding your horn or flashing your lights, if necessary.
If a vehicle pulls up in front of you and causes you to stop, stay calm and don’t turn off your engine. If the driver leaves their vehicle and approaches you, reverse as far as possible and manoeuvre to turn the opposite direction when it is safe to do so. Put your hazard lights on and continuously sound your horn.
Our advice is that you should take reasonable steps to maintain your own personal safety. However, if you are being followed and are unable to drive to a safe place for help, it is not illegal to use your mobile to call 999 whilst driving, in legitimate emergency situations that cannot be avoided.