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WOMEN IN CONTROL

According to reports, every year more than 3,000 women drivers lose their lives or are seriously injured on the roads around the world. Eve magazine's motoring website for women, www.evecars.com, is persuading female drivers to think before they hit the road for their summer getaways."We have to stop thinking of cars as personal space where we can do what we want, when we want" says Lesley Jones, editor of evecars.com. "It's easy to treat your car as a combination of home, entertainment centre, office and beauty parlour, especially if you're a busy mum. Think of it as a multifunctional vehicle only when you're parked up. When you hit the road, concentrate on your driving,"For a lot of women, a majority of holiday driving involves using highways and many female drivers shudder at the thought of a breakdown. Evecars.com's Lesley Jones advises drivers to park as close to the verge as possible, with wheels turned away from the motorway and to put on hazard lights.Getting out of the car on the passenger side and climbing the embankment or waiting in an adjoining field and calling for help, letting the emergency services know if you are driving alone are also useful tips on being stuck a lone female. "Statistics show that women are at far greater risk of being hit by a vehicle on the hard shoulder than they are being the victim of an attacker," says Lesley Jones. "Women are advised to plan their journeys by map in advance, ensure the car is roadworthy and take regular breaks to beat fatigue." The RAC Foundation says "Bored kids will distract the driver, which is a real safety hazard. So it's vital to plan ahead to keep them occupied. Play old favourites like I-Spy and roadside bingo or take along hi-tech games and DVD players - but don't forget the batteries. Happy, comfortable kids make for safer journeys."

Driving facts

* Car occupants are 27 times more likely to be killed for every kilometre they travel than air and rail passengers combined, and 13.5 times more likely than bus and coach passengers.* More people die on the road between midnight and five in the morning than at any other time - so think twice about driving through the night.* A pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 60 kph has a 95 per cent chance of surviving. At 70 kph, the chance drops to just 9 per cent* Pregnant women must resist the urge to unbuckle. Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of serious injury to an unborn baby by 70 per cent* Choosing a route? Go for the expressway/ highway option - 53 per cent of all fatal crashes occur on rural roads. * Stomach rumbling? Pull over - remember it's an offence to eat and drink at the wheel.

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