CAR CUSTOMIZATION: CAN IT MAKE YOU A LIVE TARGET?
Getting your first car can be one heck of a thrill. You feel the sense of responsibility being outweighed by the joy of being able to drive anywhere, at any time to meet your friends. Most of us predict that our vehicle expenses would go to the basic things such as regular services, car washes, tyre changes, etc. However, some of us are more interested in the realm of modifying our vehicles or simply giving our vehicle interiors or exteriors an aesthetic makeover that’s sure to turn some heads on the road.
What’s the issue?
Women have also joined in on the trend, showing off their aesthetically pleasing vehicle makeovers with pink exteriors and plush interiors, making their car the feminine person’s dream. However, many internet users were quick to point out the concern for the women drivers’ safety. They’ve inferred that decorating their vehicle in noticeably feminine styles could make them an easier target to predators or even people with bad intentions in mind.
This debate brought upon more causes for concern for women drivers as many of them began to share horror stories of their experiences being tracked and followed with Apple’s latest tech; the AirTag. The initial intention for this piece of technology was intended to be attached to the owner’s personal belongings to add security in the event these items go missing. While many people started wholesomely deviating from its intended purpose by attaching it to their loved pets, some people with potentially malicious intentions have started to hide AirTags in inconspicuous places of the vehicle such as tucking it behind the license plate, attaching it underneath the car and sometimes even going as far as to hide it under their hoods.
What should we do?
Unfortunately, the answer is never the ideal solution. As a woman driver myself, it’s common to hear solutions to predatory behaviour from others that involve us doing the most work instead of holding these people accountable. However, we all know the saying; “better safe than sorry” and this definitely applies to this situation. We’re definitely not going to ask you to avoid customizing your vehicle, especially if it’s your passion or interest, you should definitely continue to pursue what makes you fulfilled and happy. Of course, we suggest you take precautionary measures if you do.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure your safety:
1. Install a dashcam
If you have yet to install a dashcam on your vehicle, we HIGHLY recommend that you do so. This adds an extra safety measure against not only potential predators but also acts as evidence in the event of an accident. The footage can be reviewed to check any suspicious behaviour when you’re parked at places you frequent to stay ten steps ahead of any potential attackers or predators.
2. Avoid dark parking lots or travelling alone at night
Many women have heard this advice and while it’s sometimes not applicable to your situation, we advise you to avoid travelling alone if possible. Whether it be carpooling with a friend after work or having someone you trust to pick you up, it would be best to travel with at least one other person to minimize your chances of being a target.
3. Save an emergency contact on speed dial
One of the more obvious tips we have is to save a contact on your speed dial that you can call and rely on when the situation gets a little sticky. This contact can be any person that you trust who would be willing to drop everything when you’re in danger whether it be a parent, partner, sibling or close friend.
4. Have a backup plan
Another safety measure would be to download the SERV app. The app has a feature that can help you call emergency assistance especially if your vehicle won’t start when you’re alone in those dark parking lots or it dies halfway through your journey back home. Avoid living the basic horror cliche and have a backup plan with SERV.
While being a woman driving alone on dark roads or late nights can be quite frightening, we hope these tips can help bring you peace of mind while you’re on the road. Remember that you are allowed to live your life and do as you please, especially when it comes to a vehicle that you own! So, man, woman or anyone in between, don’t be discouraged to personalize your vehicle to your heart’s content but do remember to please stay safe on the road or wherever you’re driving.