Motoring advice for women drivers

Smiling in a potential road-rage situation can make matters worse, women drivers in Essex have been warned.

And mouthing "sorry" can stop a minor incident escalating out of control, is ex-Police Chief Inspector Vic Botterill`s advice on dealing with behind-the-wheel bullies.

He was at a car-confidence evening held by a Vauxhall dealership in Brentwood, Essex, to make local women more aware of how to protect themselves against the dangers and problems they could face on the road.

The self-help initiative was organised by Magnus Vauxhall to help teach local women drivers the basics of mechanics and personal self-protection, so that they are less likely to be left stranded and vulnerable by the roadside.

It included roadside get-you-home tips, defensive driving advice and details of how to ward off a possible road-rage attacker.

Janet Russell, an administrative officer from a local finance company, agreed that the practical approach was best.

"I had never changed a wheel before I came here and now I know I can do it if my car breaks down when I'm on my own. It's good that courses like these equip women to take control in these situations and be better able to cope with today's road conditions," she said.