Make sure that you always park in well lighted areas and lock your car doors, even if you'll be gone a short time.
Survey your surroundings before turning off your car and getting out. If you see anyone that seems suspicious or if anything doesn't seem right to you, put your car back into gear and drive away at once. When you return to the parking lot to retrieve your car, scan the lot from the door to make sure that you don't see anything worrisome. If you do, immediately leave and call the parking lot security or the police.
Once you determine that it is safe to return to your car, have the key ready.
From a short distance, look underneath your car and the cars nearby to make sure nobody is hiding there.
Check the front and rear seats and floors before getting into your car to make sure that nobody is lying in wait to accost you.
Lock your doors immediately after you get into your car. Do it before you stow shopping bags in the passenger seat, before you put on your seatbelt, and before you put the key in the ignition.
If you are accosted in a parking lot away from your own vehicle, immediately begin screaming for the police. Many times, an attacker may decide that the situation is too dangerous and will flee.
If you see the attacker first, or if you wiggle out of his grasp, try to roll underneath a nearby vehicle. It is difficult to force anyone out from under a car and your attacker may decide to move on to easier prey. As soon as you are under the car, use your cell phone to call the police or keep screaming for help. Screaming will also deter the predator from coming after you again.
If an attacker is able to surprise you and manages to get into your car while you are in it, do everything in your power to exit the automobile. Blast your horn as much as possible.
If you are attacked while you're behind the wheel and the car is on, steer your vehicle into a barricade, a pole, a wall or any object that will create a minor accident. Take advantage while your attacker's attention has been diverted and exit the automobile. You should run, yell, scream or do anything else you can to get attention.
If you must physically defend yourself, gouge your attacker's eyes or bite at any exposed skin, and then get yourself out of the car as quickly as possible.
Hopefully you will never have such a frightening encounter. But having a quick action plan in mind should give you the confidence that you can handle anything that comes your way.
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