8 Ways to Dodge Hazards on the Road

On the road again. And again . . .

August 1, 1999

As you become more mobile, it stands to reason that you'll spend more time dodging accidents, thieves, and violent drivers. Protect yourself with these eight safety tips:

  1. Install a hands-free phone kit in your vehicle. If you must use the phone while driving, this kit turns your cell phone into a speakerphone. (For more on driving and phoning, review the safety tips at http://infocenter.insweb.com/cellphone/).
  2. Carry a first aid kit. The Law Enforcement Equipment Co. (800/821-3238) sells one for $14.95, especially designed for autos.
  3. Keep roadside breakdown essentials in the trunk: flares, a tire-inflation canister, basic hand tools, spare belts and hoses, water, and a flashlight.
  4. Go for the keyless entry system on new-car purchases or have one retrofitted for your older vehicle. It should include a panic button that triggers the car's alarm. Don't hesitate to use it if a suspicious stranger approaches.
  5. Don't antagonize potentially dangerous drivers by mimicking their gestures or aggressive driving. Just let it go.
  6. Make sure all doors are locked when you're driving, especially at night, and keep the windows and sunroof only partly open.
  7. Secure your techno-gadgets and other valuables by keeping them well out of sight.
  8. For tips on how to avoid road rage and carjacking, see Allstate Insurance's Web page on the subject.
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