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Staying safe on the road

Delilah Saunders' travel tips from her own experience on Canada's highways

Whether you want to experience independence as a bright eyed, fierce lady, or you're in desperate need for a ride, there are some steps you should take to make sure you arrive safe.

1. Document everything

If you have a cell phone and are hitchhiking, get a photo of the license plate, driver and their name then send it to a trusted friend who knows of your travel plans. If the driver isn't willing to do this to ensure your safety and their own liability, then it isn't worth risking your life.

2. Stick to your schedule, if you have one

If you're taking a bus or train, make sure your itinerary is tight and you don't miss your bus. Otherwise, you'll end up like me, stuck in Regina for 12 hours and arriving in Vancouver at 10pm. instead of 10am, waiting in this for hours:

3. If you feel you're in danger, make sure you have some form of protection

Before I hitchhiked alone, I bought a knife from Canadian Tire. You can also buy seat belt cutters and emergency window hammers. You really have to be vigilant sometimes, especially in situations where you are extremely vulnerable.

4. Keep a clear head

If you spend the night in an unfamiliar town alone, don't party too hard. I learned this the hard way from a night in Nanaimo at the Corner Lounge after blacking out after just a few drinks.

5. Trust your gut

I hopped in the first car willing to pick me up and the creep kept touching my leg. With red flags flying, I told him the next gas station was my stop, but he continued to circle the building. I'm lucky I was in public and am saddened so many women weren't.

I can only speak from my own experience as an urban and white passing Indigenous woman and I understand there are remote areas in which cell service and adequate transportation aren't accessible. I'd love to hear your ideas and thoughts on how to take preventative safety measures when traveling alone, so feel free to add them in the comment section below. Be safe, ladies.

Delilah Saunders blogs about her experience with grief and is a regular contributor for A4W Live. 

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Comments (1)

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    Anonymous, January 07, 2016 @ 1:39pm

    These are all very good points and I applaud Delilah for creating these blogs. Another thing is also to not travel during the night if you can. Especially if your vehicle breaks down or if there is lack of cell service along the highway. Anything can happen.