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Stay safe on the roads while commuting

If you are a commuter in Port St. Lucie, you probably have your share of horror stories. But no matter where you live, traffic jams and inclement weather can make commuting to and from work each day quite a hardship.

Women have an additional vulnerability regarding their personal safety should they break down on the road or find themselves at an isolated bus stop with a potential assailant.

Stay proactive about safety

National statistics have indicated that almost 65 percent of females commute to work daily without personal safety tools at their disposal. Learn some ways for women to remain safer while commuting.

  • Carry your keys. Grip your car key and a personal safety device in your dominant hand. Digging around in pockets or purses for keys leaves you vulnerable.
  • Keep your guard up. Remain alert to your surroundings while you walk to your car. Don't wear headphones or engage with your cellphone.
  • Trust your instincts. Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence explored this topic in great detail. In sum, if you intuit that someone is following you, call 911 immediately. When driving, don't lead the person to your home. Instead, drive to a police or fire station or another public, well-lit place.
  • Never text and drive. Avoid other distractions behind the wheel, like eating or drinking, applying make-up, talking or texting on the phone, or chatting distractedly with others in the car, etc.
  • Always wear a seat belt. Drivers should insist that passengers be buckled in before the car moves.
  • Have an emergency kit in the car. Pepper spray should be included. Beware of aggressive strangers who stop to "help" but urge you to ride in their vehicles.
  • Sit near the front of buses. Other passengers are less likely to pester those sitting near the bus driver.
  • Avoid deserted bus stops. Plan your commute when there are plenty of other riders to keep from waiting alone for public transportation. Use apps to alert you to delays.

Avoiding problem drivers on the road

As much as you try to be safety-conscious while commuting, it's important to understand that you are only as safe as the other drivers sharing the roads with you.

If you encounter a driver who appears to be drunk or otherwise impaired, it is always best to give him or her a very wide berth and pull over when it is safe to alert the authorities.

If you get hit by a negligent or distracted driver during your commute, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in the Florida civil court system.

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