Michelle Lee is a student intern working with Maggiano, DiGirolamo and Lizzi, a law firm based in New Jersey.
If Reddit has taught us anything it’s that when traveling—even in familiar locations—paying attention to your surroundings, being cautious and wary of other drivers and trusting your instincts can be invaluable.
However, it’s worth noting that even with a steadily increasing number of single occupancy drivers it’s still relatively safe to travel alone. That being said, planning in advance so you’re capable of handling a dangerous situation could keep you safe in an unlikely or extreme circumstance.
Good planning can save you from a bad situation
In the UK you can join the National Breakdown and Recovery Service, in the US AAA to keep you from being stranded if you break down or run out of gas—as long as you have cell phone service.
Take precautions though just in case you do happen to run into trouble when you’re out of cell range, especially when traveling long distances and in the dark. Tell a close friend or family member what time to expect you, or what time you should be reaching your destination.
Always check the interior and exterior of your car before getting in, and plan for emergencies by having a full cell phone battery, emergency cash or card and phone charger.
Assess the situation if you do break down
If you do breakdown or have car troubles, you probably assume the worst has happened, but in some unfortunate cases a breakdown or tire blowout can just be the beginning if you’re not careful about how you proceed.
If you think there is something wrong with your car pull over as far as possible and turn your hazard lights on. Before getting out of the car make sure you look for oncoming vehicles, especially large trucks. In some instances cars have been hit or doors have been ripped off when they are opened into traffic.
Additionally, if another motorist is flashing their lights or signaling you to pull over do not stop your car and do not get out of the vehicle until you are in a high traffic well lit area. If the vehicle appears to be a law enforcement vehicle you are legally required to pull over, however, you are well within your rights to request to see identification before rolling down your window.
If something seems ‘off’ about the situation, call local law enforcement and explain you are being pulled over and ask if it is a legitimate officer.
Take precautions against carjacking
The final threat you don’t generally expect but need to take measures against is carjacking.
Lock your doors while driving and stash your valuables out of sight with your windows closed when possible. If you insist on keeping your window down keep the gap minimal so bag snatchers or a carjacker can’t get access to your car when you’re stopped at a light or stop sign. Carjacking is on the rise in the UK making it increasingly important to keep yourself from appearing as a viable target.
You can deter carjacking by driving in the middle lane as far from the sidewalk as possible and by not wearing expensive looking jewelry and watches while driving—especially late at night when going through towns or city centers.
If you stop for gas or food don’t leave your car unlocked, even if you are just going inside for a moment. Carjackers will sometimes frequent these types of places looking for an easy target.
Finally, pay attention to what maintenance your car needs. The chances of a tire blow out are probably more likely than a carjacking but could put you in an equally dangerous position.
Written by Daphne Holmes
Despite our best attempts to remain safe from harm, life presents challenging circumstances that can even develop into rescue operations. As a result, it pays to not only take physical measures to ensure your safety, but to anticipate some of the mental challenges you might face as well. To increase your odds during trying times; keep the proper tools on hand to assist you in an emergency, and try to remember the following standards.
You Can Help Yourself
Stressful situations provoke inconsistent responses, leaving some victims paralyzed with fear and unable to execute common-sense survival moves. Regardless of the emergency at hand; it is important to keep your sensibilities and do everything within your power to improve your circumstances. While you may not be a trained medic or emergency responder, you have the most to lose in a crisis situation. Protecting and defending your life starts with advanced preparation, but thinking on your feet also increases your chances for a positive outcome.
You are in Good Hands
Once professionals are on the scene, you can help them by trusting their training and accepting their help. Remember, rescue personnel share your desire for a positive outcome, so giving them your vote of confidence can make the difference between a successful rescue and a failed attempt. Whether you are trapped in your car or need CPR, trained responders are in the best position to help you – once you’ve done everything you can on your own.
Prepare in Advance
Unanticipated circumstances arise quickly and require immediate responses. So while you can’t always predict how incidents will unfold, advanced preparation gives you the best chance of walking away unscathed. Car accidents, for example, are often weather related, so knowing the conditions you’ll face before taking to the roads is a responsible approach to winter driving. And keeping your car tuned-up and functioning properly also reduces the chances you’ll be left in a compromising position.
First aid supplies and an emergency tool should also be part of your proactive safety program. Keeping a tool on hand allows users to practice their emergency responses, so that carrying them out will be like second nature in the event of an actual emergency. By going through the motions ahead of time, accident victims prepare to cut their automobile safety belts or break their car windows in seconds, when survival is at stake.
Regardless of the type of emergency that sneaks up on you, it is essential to use all the survival tools at your disposal to diffuse the situation. Emergency responders and other trained personnel have experience on their side, so following instructions precisely leads accident victims to safety.
Above all, try to stay calm as you work with rescue personnel, who are only trying to remove yourself from harm’s way. Keeping your wits about you enables you to digest and respond to directions more effectively than you might when frantic. Your ability to focus on the important matters at hand is also enhanced when your emergency response is steady, so an even-keel actually increases your chance of survival.
Regulating your breathing in a relaxed steady rhythm helps you stay focused, and keeps oxygen flowing through your system at critical times. While breathing is involuntary, disrupted patterns can complicate matters during an emergency rescue. To help breathe consistently during a rescue, practice normal rhythms when you are not under stress. That way, you won’t even have to think about it during a genuine emergency.
Staying prepared with the proper tools and training are essential for safety and security; especially on the road where circumstances change rapidly. To increase your chances of a positive outcome, do everything possible to save yourself, and then work with emergency responders to ensure your safety.
Daphne Holmes contributed this guest post. She is a writer from www.ArrestRecords.com and you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eli Beer, President of the United Hatzalah in Israel is contacting Laurent Colasse weekly to tell him stories of his country.
Times are hard here in Israel. As Operation Defensive Edge escalates, it is clear that it is not simply a small operation but a full-fledged war, the strongest of which we have experienced since the First Lebanon War. Yet, we can all take pride in the remarkable selflessness and altruism of our volunteers who are rotating in and out of the “war zone”, running from missile attack to missile attack, literally risking their lives in order to help others instead of running for cover.
Just today, two young teens went into the water at Nitzanim Beach, between Ashdod and Ashkelon, in between air raid sirens. Lifeguards saw the teens struggling and raced into the waves to pull them, both unconscious, from the water. One was still breathing but the other kids’ heart had already stopped. Two of our volunteers from Petach Tikva, who were there providing extra help for the South, responded to the scene and began to triage and treat the victims. Priority one was to get that kids heart beating again.
Ignoring the heat exacerbated by the heavy bulletproof Kevlar vest under their bright orange rescue vests the medics got to work. Chest compressions, ventilations, shocks from the defibrillator. It looked like this kid might get a second chance. Then the siren blared, rockets from Gaza could begin raining down on them any moment. Shelter was a short jog away. The medics didn’t hesitate, they hunched a little closer using their armor clad bodies as shields for the 2 young victims as they continued to fight for life. Within minutes a pulse returned. The fear, the sweat and effort was eminently worthwhile. Both kids would live. The dull thud in the distance was oddly reassuring that the immediate threat to the rescuers and victims passed.
Thank you for always being behind the team in their heroic efforts.
Before stating a long journey, people often focus on the clothes they need to pack or the snacks they need to take along. They would try figuring out the cheapest and quickest route. However, there is one more important aspect that needs to be attended to as it is equally important and that is checking the safety of your car.
Check your vehicle
Your top most priority before starting a long journey should always be to check your vehicle. You need to ensure that the car on the whole is working correctly. Check the indicators, lights, tires and windscreen pipers. In case you have any doubts about the roadworthiness of your vehicle, then get it checked.
Always remember to carry spare tools on the journey. You may require spare tire, spare car key, puncture repair kit and a jack. You need to consider other useful items such as spare batteries, torch, blanket and water.
Always travel with the necessary paperwork. This includes an emergency contact list, vehicle insurance policy, maps or GPS. Don’t forget to carry your driver’s license with you.
Tips on driving safely
Seat belts are the best precautions when it comes to traveling. The first thing that you need to do when you get inside the car is putting on your seat belt.
Maintain a safe distance from other cars
Always keep a minimum distance of 2 seconds from the car in front. Keeping a safe driving distance is necessary to avoid accidents. This distance will need to be increased during rainy conditions, when the road is wet, during a fog and at night.
Carry a tool for cutting seat belt and shattering window in case of an emergency
Always keep a tool with which you can cut your seat belt and break your window in case of an emergency such as vehicle entrapment. A tool with a sharp blade that can be used for cutting the jammed seat belt and a spike for the shattering the window is recommended. In such cases, every second counts. You would require an effective tool.
Stay within speed limits
Staying within the sped limits is one of the best precautions for avoiding accidents. Use your lights whenever necessary.
Never drive while you are tired
Everyone knows the dangers associated with driving when under the influence of alcohol and drugs. However, it could still be dangerous if you are driving when tired. Look out for symptoms of fatigue and if you have any then stop driving. These symptoms are yawning, day-dreaming, slow reaction time and finding it difficult to keep your eyes open. You can get tired by various factors. Try following these steps.
How to avoid tiredness
Always wear a good quality sun glasses to avoid the sun glare. This helps avoid straining the eyes. Try traveling with someone else with whom you can chat and share the driving. This helps avoid stress, boredom and illness. Make sure you do not overeat before driving as overeating leads to blood being diverted to the stomach, thereby causing drowsiness. Avoid an interior that is overheated or very cold as it can cause sleepiness. Ensure you have had a minimum of six hours sleep before you drive. You need this minimum sleep for functioning properly while driving.
Stop and rest if you feel tired. You need to take a break every two hours or after a distance of about 200 km.
Author Bio: Stephen Roshy is a passionate writer and blogger. He has years of experience in writing content on various industries. Useful information for this article is provided by “Help2move”. Get in touch with Mr. Roshy on Face book, twitter and Google+
Written by: Matt Milstead
Summer is here and it is time to pack your bags for that long awaited trip or vacation. Regardless of whether you are traveling by plane and planning on renting a car or taking a road trip, you always want to make sure you are traveling safely. Traveling safely includes more than just knowing your destination, keeping your items together, and not looking too much like a tourist; traveling safely also means making sure that you take the right traffic precautions. The issue with this though is that it can be very difficult to do this when you are unaware of your destination’s roads and traffic standards. Luckily though, there are still a number of things you can do to make sure you’re staying safe on the road.
Local Point of Contact – Just in Case
No matter where your destination is, one truly helpful thing that you can do when you are on the road is to have a local point of contact. Whether it is a hotel, police department, friend, or family member, choosing an establishment or an individual to contact in case of an emergency can be extremely useful. Emergencies include car accidents, faulty car issues, and even getting lost. In addition, because of your proximity to your contact, you can get the help you need much faster. If you do not have a friend or family member or do not know of any establishment, one idea is to reach out to your friends to see if they may know someone. Chances are that they will.
Stop Driving When You are Tired – Even with No Hotel or Motel in Sight
Some of the most serious car accidents are the result of tired drivers. Being on vacation does not mean that you need to push yourself too hard when you drive. If you find that you are tired while on the road, then do the right thing and pull over immediately, which means not driving until there is an accommodation. Just because you’re pulling over does not mean that you need to suffer either. With the right planning, you can stay safe and comfortable. Before leaving on your trip, take with you a pillow, blanket, and just in case you come across a camp ground when you stop, take a tent too. If you do decide to sleep in your car, keep it locked and the windows rolled up.
Some Things are Best Kept Quiet
One of the most important safety tips for traveling on the road is to not advertise your travels. Walking into a hotel or restaurant and making friends is fine, but letting people know that you are traveling on the road can lead to a dangerous dilemma. People can realize you have valuables in your car, which can cause you to become a target of some unwanted attention.
Be Prepared for an Emergency
Car accidents happen, and so do other situations where you need to immediately exit your car. If you do find yourself in a flood, mudslide, or car accident, you can use a nifty tool that helps you safely break the window and get you and other travelers to safety. Once you do exit the car, call emergency services and speak to a relative to inform that you are ok.
Bring Back the Old School Map
As much as you and others are constantly inclined to use cell phones and tablets for directions, not every car is able to charge your technology and you may sometimes find yourself in an area with limit resources. To be better prepared and to protect yourself, one of the best things you can do to be safe when driving is to take an old school map with you – and learn how to use it. This way, if your technology does give out, you can still reach your destination safely.
Travel with the Right Information
If an accident does happen or if a cop does pull you over, you also should make sure you have the right travel information on you. For example, you should keep your license on you at all times, your ownership deed of your car, and your car insurance. According to Itrek, it is also necessary to keep your own travel insurance in your vehicle when you drive, as it is especially useful if an accident does happen.
Traveling on the road is meant to be a fun and adventurous experience. By taking the right precautions above, like checking your car for issues, keeping a first aid kit for you and your vehicle, taking emergency tools with you, and having the right paperwork in your vehicle, you can ensure that your car travel is as safe as possible. You shouldn’t have anything in your way but the open road and good experiences.
You probably know what it’s like to feel shock and anger when you see someone has left a child or pet locked in a car on a hot day. This is a very dangerous situation – 619 children died between 1998 and 2012 after being left in hot cars. Potentially thousands of pets have suffered the same fate. Deaths and injuries from heatstroke continue to increase these numbers each year.
Our vehicles act as greenhouses when sunlight hits them. Even when the temperature outside is only in the 60s, temperatures in a car can reach dangerous highs.
So what should you do when it’s warm or hot outside and there’s a child or an animal trapped in a car?
Call Emergency Services (911) First
Nineteen states have legislation against leaving children unattended in cars. Fourteen states have issued laws making it a crime to leave pets alone in vehicles. If you see that someone has left a child or a pet in a car, especially when the temperatures are high, call 911 first thing.
Also be sure to write down the make, model and license-plate number of the vehicle. You might find that parents and owners aren’t so willing to stick around once you tell them the police are on their way.
Take Action if Necessary
Many people, after seeing a child or animal locked in a car, choose to do nothing. Fear of breaking the law or of being sued causes people to shy away from taking action, but this is the wrong thing to do. If you don’t want to force your way into the car, at least stand by until the caregiver, owner or police arrive.
However, if the child or animal is in distress, worry about legal consequences later. Look for signs of heatstroke, which are different in humans and animals. Go ahead and get the child or animal out if you see signs of distress or heatstroke.
Use Caution When Breaking Windows
If you find yourself in a situation where a window must be broken, you should take serious precautions. Break the window that is furthest from the child or animal. With children, this can be easier. However animals in distress may be pacing throughout the vehicle.
The Resqme Keychain Car Escape Tool can be a lifesaver for a child or pet trapped in a hot car. You can use the tool’s spring-loaded spike to break the car window easily and safely. The Resqme tool has helped save three children locked in hot cars in the United States, three in Israel and two in Malta.
If you are a parent or pet owner, never leave your child or animal alone in the car. While many pet owners have stated car covers and foil sun screens help keep their vehicles cool and safe for pets, it’s best not to risk it. Besides heat-related injuries, so many other things could go wrong. The old adage comes to mind: “better safe than sorry.”