Have your car keys in hand when approaching your vehicle.
Look under the car as you approach it to be sure no one is hiding under it.
If a person gets near your vehicle causing concern, turn around and walk away.
Consider getting a cell phone as a security device for emergencies.
Consider attaching a loud whistle to your key chain so you can use it if necessary.
Look in the back seat before getting into car; be sure no one is hiding there, even if you locked the door earlier.
After entering your vehicle, immediately lock all doors.
When possible, try to avoid parking your vehicle in unlighted, isolated areas.
If your hands are full of bags, consider asking for a security escort from the store, mall, or grocery staff. Be aware of your surroundings when placing items in trunk, don't just bend over and keep your attention diverted from what is going on around you.
When dealing with kids and car seats, it is better to put them in the seat, then get in yourself, lock the doors, and then finish buckling the kids up. This keeps you safer and allows you to give the full attention needed to handling the kids.
Lock personal property in the trunk of the car if you cannot take it with you. Do not leave such items as your purse, a calculator, camera, brief case, laptops, GPS or IPOD in view or on seats.
Keep plenty of gas in your car and keep the car in good running order. If you should have car trouble, raise the hood, lock yourself in and wait for the police. If someone stops and offers help, stay in your car and ask that person to call for help for you; a relative, a friend or the police.
When driving alone at night, let a family member or friend know the route you take and your expected arrival time at your destination. Check in with them when you get there or ask them to call and check on you if you don't call by a designated time. Use the "buddy system" to look out for each other. Do the same when traveling out of town. When driving alone at night, try to stay in the inner most or center lane (farthest from the curb and sidewalk). Be aware of people standing on the side of the road at stop lights and corners. Do not crowd the car in front of you. Leave room to pull out if someone were to try and get into the car with you.
If you are in a minor accident, or someone bumps your car from the rear, do not get out, especially in remote areas, or at night. Only crack the window if you need to speak to the other driver. If anything looks suspicious or the other driver (people) begin to demand that you get out, DO NOT GET OUT! Tell the other driver that they can follow you to a police or fire station. If they still insist that you get out, leave immediately and go to a public place and call the police. If you are driving and think you are being followed, make several turns in one direction and head back the way you were going. It they are still behind you, go to the nearest police or fire station, or somewhere public. Have your local police number and/or 911 programmed as a speed dial number in your cell phone so that you can access it quickly in an emergency situation.
Exercise common sense, and be aware of your surroundings, no matter where you are.
Have a plan in place to deal with a violent situation if it should occur.
Report all suspicious persons and/or activity to your UAB Police.