There are two main ways to protect yourself: Prevention and action. Prevention means taking steps to avoid being in a bad situation in the first place, i.e. steps you ALWAYS take while on the road. Action means defending yourself if your prevention fails and you end up in a bad situation: you have to take action to save yourself.
First and foremost, be assertive. If you are a solo female and choose to accept rides from single or multiple men (which many people say is a big no-no, although many single women do it) you need to be paying attention to how they act and be able to steer the conversation how you want it to go. Don't let them drive the conversation towards sex, partying or dating. If they insist tell them about your fiance - you know, the 250lbs professional boxer you are on your way to visit. They may try to see how easily intimidated you are, "Aren't you scared out here all by yourself, (a pretty girl like you)? Don't you know there are bad people around?" Of course many people will ask you variations of this without ill-intention, but sticking to a general answer along the lines of "yes I know there are bad people, but I believe that there are more good people than bad out there. Many people go out of their way to help me, like ''you''". This invokes guilt if they had bad thoughts, and gives them an honourable way out. You could also mention something meant to be slightly intimidating, but this may be taken as a challenge and work to your disadvantage.
Here are other preventative techniques that can be used:
- Some people send a text message to a friend with the license plate number of cars they are about to get into. Always ask the driver first, if they object then don't get in their vehicle. Make sure you tell them it is only a safety precaution you take with all drivers, so that they do not feel you don't trust them (after all, they are trusting ''you'' by letting you into their car.
If prevention has failed and you find yourself in a situation where you are almost certain you are in danger, it is time to take action. Do not wait. Your chances of escape go down significantly once he has taken you to a back road or isolated area. If you start feeling uncomfortable while on a main road or in a populated area, get out then. Make an excuse to stop: washroom ("that time of the month!"), private phone call etc, and then simply take your stuff and leave. Or jump out at a stoplight or at low enough speeds (see [http://www.wikihow.com/Jump-from-a-Moving-Car/ WikiHow: Jumping out of a moving car]. Better to be safe than sorry. Here are some other self-
- Knife: keep it on your body and accessible, but hidden. A belt or bra-strap are good locations. It may be enough to dissuade your aggressor, but beware that if you don't know how to use it, it may end up being taken and used against you (this is far too common).
- Remember that as the passenger, you ultimately have a lot of control - after all, the driver has to drive. If you have asked the driver to stop and he refuses, or becomes aggressive, be ready to take action. Know where the door handle,lock and window mechanism are (in some vehicles this may be more complicated than one would think). Opening the door while the car is in motion will draw attention, but remember at high speeds this is difficult due to wind resistance. Flailing your arms out the window also draws attention. Pulling the parking break can be the best resort at high speeds. Hopefully he be forced to slow down enough for you to [http://www.wikihow.com/Jump-from-a-Moving-Car jump out].
We all hope to never be in a situation where such extreme actions are needed, but if such a situation arises, resolve and confidence in your chosen course of action is key.