Security experts, law enforcement, and those in executive protection always remind us that our personal safety is compromised when we spend time in and around our parked vehicles. We are far safer in even a slow-moving vehicle with the doors locked and windows up.
Social workers, home healthcare workers, occupational health providers, and salespeople are just a few examples of those who spend a lot of time traveling between destinations.
I have heard case managers often say that they will use some down time between visits sitting in their cars clearing voicemails, or replying to time-sensitive emails.
Others tell me that they will often sit in the parked car while programing their GPS for the next destination. Some return calls while parked – thinking correctly that it is better to not be on the phone while driving – but nonetheless leaving them very distracted as to their surroundings.
Police report that crimes such as robbery and carjacking are often opportunistic, with the victims regularly being someone “using the car as an office.”
Here is simple mantra to keep in mind: “Look. Lock. Leave.”
Look in, under, and around your car before you approach and get in.
Lock the door immediately upon getting in.
Start the vehicle and Leave immediately. The sooner you’re moving, the better.
Another tip: If you’re not parallel parking, always try and back in, making it easier drive away quickly if under duress. This also allows a tow truck to more readily help you out with a breakdown or recharging a dead battery!
Related: What is Situational Awareness?