Personal safety in your vehicle

A few tips to make your time on the road safer and more enjoyable:

  • Check your car – once a month, give it a TWIRL – check tyres, windows and mirrors, indicators, rust and lights.
  • Check tyre pressure – find out how.
  • Useful items to carry in your car:
    • Mobile phone or a phonecard
    • Map book or phone app
    • Torch
    • Pen and paper (so you can leave a message if you have to leave your car for any reason)
    • A rug – useful if you have to change a tyre, wait for breakdown assistance, or help in a crash situation
    • First aid kit.

If your car breaks down

  • If you have a mobile phone, use it to call a breakdown service. If your vehicle is creating a road safety risk, call *555 to alert Police.
  • If you have a flat tyre, think about driving slowly to a safe place to stop. You may damage the tyre and wheel rim, but this may be better than compromising your own safety.
  • Turn on your hazard lights to make the car as visible as possible.
  • If the car breaks down in a potentially dangerous location, put safety first. It may be safer to stay in the car and wait for help than to get out. If you decide it’s safer to leave, be sure there is a safe place you can get to without putting yourself or others in danger.
  • If you decide to leave the car, lock all doors and take your valuables with you, if safe and practical to do so.

Theft from vehicles – prevention advice

Thieves search vehicles for cash, credit cards, cheque books, sunglasses, satellite navigation systems, mobile phones, iPods, laptop computers, hand bags, stereo systems, sports equipment, clothing and any other valuable property left in a vehicle.

Thieves use a range of techniques, but most offending is opportunistic: you can minimise their opportunities.

  • Always take keys with you when you leave your vehicle.
  • Always lock your vehicle when you leave it.
  • Close all windows, including sunroofs.
  • Park in well-lit areas if possible.
  • Try not to leave valuables in your car. Thieves will break in for something as small as loose change.
  • If you have to leave valuables in your car, make sure they are out of sight, but remember hiding them is not as safe as removing them.
  • Don’t leave documents with personal information or keys to your house/business/boat etc in your vehicle.
  • Consider installing an alarm to provide extra security.

More information on protecting your property

Feeling threatened

  • If you think you are being followed or threatened by another road user, call 111. Drive to a public space, such as a service station or police station, where you can stop. Don’t get out of the vehicle if you feel unsafe – lock the doors and wait for help.
  • Try to note details of the car – registration number, colour, make, description of driver and direction the vehicle was last seen travelling in.

More information about staying safe