As a woman, I know what it is like to have to travel alone. I have often traveled from Oklahoma to California with my three small children.

For the most part, I never had any trouble because I stayed in well lit areas, and never pulled over at roadside rest areas, not even during the day. I tried to stop only at places that were busy, and I always parked in front where I was well seen.

Once coming across the desert (this was the days before cell phones were widely used), a group of motorcycles approached me from behind.

At first I didn’t think anything of it, but then they began to surround my car. One of them got in front of me and began to slow down, while the others tried to guide me to the side of the road. They were using intimidation tactics to get me to pull over.

Instead of allowing them to frighten me, I pressed the accelerator, and came close to clipping the motorcyclist that was in front of me. I didn’t allow them to budge me off the road. I just happened to pass a sign that said there was a Highway Patrol Headquarters a mile ahead.

The motorcyclist in front of me kept turning his head and looking back at me. I motioned toward the sign as we went by it and mouthed at him that I wasn’t stopping until we reached that place.

After a few minutes of this they gave up and drove on leaving me and my children in peace. It certainly could have turned out a lot uglier than it did.

I stopped at the Highway Patrol Headquarters, and explained to them what had happened to me. I hope it stopped some other woman from getting harassed, or even worse.

Don’t ever pull over for anyone that tries to force you to. It’s better to assess the situation and fight to stay on the road. If you have your cell phone on you, dial 911 immediately.

If you break down, call for help immediately if possible. Don’t get out of your car, and keep your doors locked. Even a guy that looks harmless can be a cold blooded murderer or rapist. Don’t trust anyone other than a police officer or the tow truck company you called.

If you have no way to call, just sit tight, a Highway Patrol will be by at some point, and he will help you get to a safe destination.

If someone stops to help you, politely tell them that you have help on the way, so they will leave. There are helpful people out there, but in this day and age, we cannot trust anyone.

Remember these simple tips:

Stay in well lighted areas if possible when stopped.

Keep your doors locked at all times.

When necessary stop where there are a lot of people around.

Don’t ever pull over for anyone.

If you break down, call for help if you can, or wait for a Highway Patrol to come by.

Don’t accept help from strangers, even kind ones, as this can be dangerous.