Gas Station Safety Tips for Stopping to Refuel Any Time of Day or Night

Staying safe at the gas station is more than just turning your car off before you pump gas and not using your cellphone at the pump. Gas stations themselves can be dangerous, especially for travels, and the best way to ensure you, your family, and your belongings stay to stay vigilant no matter the time of day or not, even if it is a gas station you travel to frequently. These gas station safety tips are rather simple, but they are easy things to forget, especially for something as typically mundane as pumping gas, which many of us do every week.

Don’t leave your purse or important belonging where they are easily accessible

Gas station
Gas station | Fadel Itani, NurPhoto, Getty Images

It’s easy to just grab our credit card or cash out of our wallets and purse when we stop at the gas station and throw the rest on the seat — after all, it’s not exactly the safest idea to just be standing there with your purse, either. It is important to secure all of your belonging, ensure the windows are rolled up, and lock your vehicle to ensure no one has access to it, can jump in the vehicle when you aren’t looking, and can’t take anything out of it such as your wallet or purse. If you have to have the window done, such as for having a pet or child in the car, it is best to roll down the window closest to the pump so that you can keep an eye on everything.

Pay attention to the gas station and pump you pick

Waiting until the absolute last moment is never a good idea when it comes to running out of gas, as it can leave you stranded or stuck at a sketchy-looking gas station. Of course, when you’re traveling, you may not always have many options of the gas station. If you have the choice, it’s always better to pick a well-lit gas station that has more traffic and is off of the main road. Some gas stations don’t have shops attached that are open 24/7, meaning there are no attendants in case of emergency, so if you can wait and find one that is completely open, it isn’t a bad idea. Picking a pump that is well lit and in view of the attendants and cameras is also important for your personal safety.

Stay off of your phone and pay attention to your surroundings

Paying attention to your surroundings seems like a simple safety tip, but when it takes several minutes to pump your gas, it is easy to get distracted, especially on our cell phones. With large obstructions to our view like our vehicles and the gas pumps themselves, we don’t have the best view of our surroundings when we are stopped at the gas station, meaning we have to be extra attentive to our surroundings. This isn’t just important at night, either, as staying aware of what’s going on around you at the pump during the day is just as crucial to gas station safety.

Besides safety, it is also important to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after stopping at the pump, especially in the midst of the current pandemic, as gas station pumps aren’t as thoroughly sanitized as other surfaces inside many businesses.

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