One of the most unfair reality checks we've had to have as young women in today's society is that we're not always safe. Even in the most unsuspecting, family-oriented communities, we're at risk of assault, sexual harassment, abduction, larceny, and more. And while it might be impossible to protect ourselves from everything that we're susceptible to, it helps to be educated on the types of heists that repeatedly put women in fatal danger — specifically car-related traps that criminals use to cleverly take people by surprise. If you know what to expect, you know how to protect yourself.
There's already so much to worry about when we're in our cars, like keeping ourselves and everyone else on the road safe. The last thing we think of is being in danger while we're parked or pulled over. Quite honestly, one the places I feel the safest is behind the wheel of a parked car. But what I've learned is that just because I'm not driving doesn't mean I'm not at risk for being at the center of a crime. Human traffickers and kidnappers rely on a woman's vulnerability in her car to carry out most of their crimes. These are five car-related traps that every woman seriously needs to know about and share with her friends and family.
Notice On The Rear Window
A police officer or law official will never place anything on the rear window of your car. Be sure to check your front and rear wipers for objects or papers that have been attached and remove them before you get in your vehicle. If you notice something once you've already started to drive, do not pull over until you have a safe, public place to check it out, like a police station, a hospital, or your home. Check to make sure you haven't been followed before you get out, and call 911 when in doubt.
Man Lying In Street
This is a tricky one, because if you're a good samaritan and you see a someone lying in the street, you're going to want to get out and help them. And while it might be a completely authentic incident, you're better off calling the police and reporting it than you are getting out of the car, especially if you're in a secluded area.
Egging Your Windshield
If someone ever eggs your windshield, you're likely to either pull over or put on your wipers immediately. If possible, don't do either. The wipers will end up blurring out your view — the mix of yolk and water is greasy. And if this is a trick to lure you out of your car, you don't want to fall into the trap. If you need to pull over, make sure your doors are locked and that you're not alone on the road or by an open field. The best option is to put on your hazards and drive slowly until you get somewhere safe.
Unmarked Police Car
Sometimes police drive around in unmarked, undercover cars. Sometimes, criminals drive around with police lights. If you're not sure if the car that's attempting to pull you over is legit, don't stop — that's your right. As long as you're not doing anything illegal and driving the speed limit, you can keep going until you find somewhere safe to pull off to or have time to call 1-1-2 which is the police dispatch to let them know what's going on and ask if you're being pulled over by an official vehicle.
Baby Carrier With A Blanket
Some people think it's an urban legend, other people swear it's a real thing. If you're driving in a secluded area and you see a baby carrier with a blanket draped over it, it might be a trap to lure you out of your car. Again, the safest and most effective thing to do here is to call the police and report the sighting. They can take care of it if it's real or protect other passerby if it's fake.