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Women often make a number of travel safety checks when they take a cab alone at night. Given the growing number of cab harassment and assault cases, what do you feel?
Yet another incident of harassment in a cab came into light in Bengaluru last month where a drunk cab driver tried to deroute the Ola cab at about 11.30 pm. The cab was originally destined towards the city’s airport. The woman on board was brisk enough to hit at the windows, and amidst cries for help, she was lucky to have other riders passing by notice her. They surrounded her cab, pulled out the driver and helped her…it sounds filmy to hear, but was a very real story!
Such incidents give us the shock of our lives. However, for most of us, day to day work is so hectic that travel safety is not something we really think about. This is all the more important when we’re traveling alone and on lonely routes like that of the airports and in off-peak hours at that.
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Here are the travel safety checks I do while traveling alone.
1. Ensure you share your cab/trip details with your spouse/friend/parent when you’re about to start the trip. The option is always available and the person with whom you’ve shared the details can actually track your route minute by minute, till you reach your destination.
2. As soon as you board the cab, check if it’s child locked or not. Immediately alert the driver and ask him to remove the child lock. If it’s an old cab and is manual, you can yourself remove the child lock.
3. Check if the driver is drunk by keenly observing his tone and if his eyes are reddish. Cancel the trip if your instinct senses something wrong. Trust your intuition always.
4. Always check if the arrived vehicle’s number matches with the trip details sent by the cab company. It’s possible that the driver or vehicle can be easily manipulated.
5. Suspect if the driver doesn’t want the trip fare to be deducted from the wallet and wants cash only. The driver may ask you to pay by cash but if he insists on cash only, tell that you don’t carry cash and can pay by virtual money only. Day trips are okay if you have confidence in the route and your intuition but if it’s a night trip, cancel the trip if you have any suspicion about the driver’s intentions.
6. Wear minimal or no jewellery when traveling alone. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
7. Always keep talking to someone on your mobile. Listening to music and dozing off is the last thing you want to do when traveling alone and during wee hours!
8. Don’t let out personal details during your calls while in the cab (details like your phone battery is about to die, cash you’re carrying, ATM card/pin details, money transfer, job details, travel details etc). Always be watchful about what you’re talking and how people will have ears on your information! This is the best time to gossip about that colleague who shows off or that Facebook friend’s vacation photos or… to crib about the way life’s heading for you!
9. Keep a watch on the route map and slowly dial 100 immediately if you anticipate any trouble! Send your location details to your dear ones on WhatsApp.
Thank the driver always, after your trip ends successfully – each and every time. We often underestimate what it means unless we encounter such an ill-fated situation. Take a moment to tell the driver that women are able to operate fearlessly because of such responsible drivers who are principled and ensure passenger safety!
Tell me what you think of these travel safety checks, and whether you follow any of your own.
First published here.
Image via Pixabay
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Chanduri Vishali Naren
As mom to 2 boys, wife, homemaker, French speaking business analytics professional,
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