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Traveling across country or across town, it is important to keep safety in mind. Getting there could actually be half the fun!

Have a trip plan and let others know when you will leave and intend to arrive at your destination.

Have a cellular telephone with you if possible.

Keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up.

At stop signs or traffic signals, keep a safe distance from the car in front of you. Leave yourself room to get out in case you're boxed in.

Don't stop in underpopulated areas to ask directions. Travel well-lighted and busy streets.

Do not pick up hitchhikers. Try not to stop if your car is blocked by someone standing in the road. Slow down and proceed slowly around the person. If they refuse to move, back up to safety and proceed to the nearest police station to report the incident.

Lock your doors when you leave your car, even if it's for a short time.

Don't advertise that you're from out-of-town by pulling over to the curb to read a road map.

If you are involved in a minor accident, do not get out of the car. Lower your window slightly and ask the other party to phone the police or follow you to the nearest public area or police station. Some criminals use an accident to get you to stop and get out of the car. If you're suspicious that the accident was staged, drive directly to the nearest law enforcement office to report the accident.

When you get out of your car, carry your purse and keep other valuables out of sight. Do not store valuables out in the open inside a parked car.

If you have a flat tire or other car problems, pull over to the side of the road out of the way of traffic.

Turn on your emergency flashers. If you have emergency roadway flares in your trunk, position them conspicuously.

Raise the hood and tie a handkerchief to the aerial or door handle.

If a roadside telephone or call-box is handy, use it. If not, sit in your locked car and wait for help.

If a motorist stops to render assistance, it's better to remain in the car, and ask him to get help. (Likewise, if you see a stranded motorist, it's better not to stop. Notify the police.)

If you think you are being followed, don't drive home. You would only be telling your follower where you live.

Stay Calm. As long as you think clearly, you'll be in control of the situation.

Flash your lights and sound your horn long enough to attract attention to you, and consequently the person following you. Drive to one of your already identified safe spots, sounding your horn and flashing your lights. Do not leave this safe location until you're sure your follower is gone.

Remember, you are your best protection. If you follow these steps, you'll be protecting the most important part of your car - YOU.

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