Stay safe while driving abroad!

In a previous post, I shared 14 safety tips for solo female travellers. In this post I share 11 tips to help you stay safe while driving abroad in the event someone tries to get you to pull over to inspect your vehicle’s tires or similar scenario.

When driving abroad (or anywhere really), if strangers on scooters or another car point at your vehicle to indicate something is wrong, and try to get you to pull over, they could be up to no good.

The following scenario recently happened to friends of another travel agent.

While driving down the road in their rental car, a guy on a scooter pulled up close, pointed to their tire and pulled them over to a parking lot, where more people showed up on scooters. When they got out to check/change the tire (which had been punctured), the guys stole her purse containing both passports, wallet, Credit cards, and over 400€ in cash.

This can happen anywhere, in any country, not just Europe, even in your home country. So here are a 11 tips to help you keep safe while driving abroad if the above scenario happens to you.

  1. Be sure to check your surroundings first.
  2. Only pull over if you’re in a public place where there are lots of other people.
  3. If you get out to inspect your vehicle, leave your belongings inside and lock your doors.
  4. If more strangers arrive on scooters, get back in your vehicle immediately and drive away.
  5. If you feel threatened, call the police immediately.
  6. If you’re driving in a secluded area, or they’re trying to get you to pull over to a secluded area, keep driving until you find somewhere more public.
  7. Do not pull over at night time, unless it’s a well lit public place with lots of people around.
  8. If you’re driving alone, do not get out if they follow you, no matter when or where you are.
  9. If you can’t find a safe place to pull over, and your vehicle feels safe to drive, continue driving and use your GPS to locate the nearest gas station, auto shop or police station.
  10. If your vehicle doesn’t feel safe to drive, call your car insurance company’s emergency number to locate the nearest auto recovery/breakdown service.
  11. And again, if you feel threatened, call the police immediately.

If you have other safety tips on the subject of driving abroad, feel free to share.

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