Driving is typically an uneventful experience but every now and then, something unexpected happens.
What do you do if everytime you look in the mirrors, the same car is following you? It can be a pretty scary experience to have the feeling of being followed.
So what should you do in this situation?
Have a Dashcam
Many good dashcams today have the ability to film both the front of the car and the back. These are something that every driver should have, especially when concerned about safety. Without it, you will be trying to juggle the steering wheel and simultaneously write down the car’s number plate which is just too dangerous. Even if the car takes off, you will have the number plate footage to give to the police.
The most important step to take is to remain calm. Yes it is an unnerving experience but if you and them are both in separate cars, you are safe as long as it stays that way.
If you have not already done so, keep the windows up and the doors locked.
Keep it Steady
We’ve all seen the movies in which the guy being followed loses the tail by speeding up but you should never follow that method. You don’t have the specialist training for driving this way so you will only be putting yourself and other road users in danger.
Keep your focus on the road ahead and understand that this could all just be you overthinking the situation. The car behind might not actually be following you at all.
A couple of steps that you can take to determine if you are in fact being followed is to:
- Make four turns in the same direction (four right turns or four left turns). The chances are slim that another driver would just happen to make the same 360 turn.
- Take the next off ramp and then get right back on the highway. Again, it is a very slim chance that somebody else would do the same.
Ignore Their Signals
If the car behind you starts to signal you by flashing their headlights they might just be warning you of a problem that you aren’t aware of.
If they do have bad intentions however, they could be doing so to try and get you to pull over so they can do whatever it is they have planned.
Never pull your car over unless you are at a place of safety where they won’t be able to harm you. This area should be well-lit and with plenty of witnesses. Which brings us to our next step.
Find a Place of Safety
If you are convinced that you are being followed or the person behind has tried to signal you to pull over, you need to drive to somewhere safe.
The safest option would be a police station but if this is not possible, head for anyplace where there are witnesses and somewhere there would hopefully be plenty of CCTV.
Don’t get out of your vehicle. Keep the windows up and the doors locked. You could try to alert the witnesses to your concerns by sounding your horn.
If the other vehicle is still behind you, call the police and tell them that you think your personal safety is at risk. They will send a local officer out and it could end up being nothing but it is not worth taking the risk.
Take a Mental Note
We mentioned at the beginning about having a good dashcam but even without one, you should be able to take a mental note of the driver and the vehicle. Try to gather as much information as you can to give to the police.
Of course, if you’ve got a passenger in the car with you then the job of taking notes is made even easier.
Don’t spend too much time trying to focus on what they are wearing as they can just change their clothes, focus only on what can’t be changed such as:
- Male or female
- Young or old
- Their Race
- Hair color
- Color of vehicle
- Type of vehicle and distinguishing marks
Report to the Police
The whole incident could turn out to be nothing but if you are sure that you were being followed, you need to report it to the police giving them all the information that you can. He may of drove off from you but he could quite as easily go and find an easier target.
If you suspect that you’re being followed, follow the above guidelines and make getting to a safe spot a priority.