Nearly three out of ten Americans report that they or someone in their household have fallen victim to crime according to Gallup Poll, a reputable polling agency. Although criminal activity happens during all times of the day, it tends to increase at night. As a result, here are a few things you can do to make yourself more aware of your surroundings and keep you safe while traveling at night.
- Walk in groups or pairs
There is safety in numbers. Walking alone at night is a common fear; according to Gallup Poll’s study, nearly 40% of Americans share this fear. It is always suggested that you walk in a group or pairs if possible, especially during nighttime. However, if you do find yourself walking alone at night, try walking close to others who are nearby so that it appears that you are walking with a group.
- Carry a safety device
When strolling through your college campus, having a night out on the town, or walking to your car after work, you should be equipped with a safety tool or signaling device. Potential safety devices you could carry are nonlethal defensive tools, such as pepper spray or stun guns. These weapons are intended to disarm an attacker; however, they don’t do a good job of drawing attention to the situation for help. In addition, be cautious when using a self-defense tool, as these can be taken during an assault and used against you.
Common signaling devices include safety whistles or air horns. Both items are loud which can help to startle your attacker while simultaneously allowing you to draw attention to your situation and signal for help as quickly and easily as possible. These tools should be kept in an easily accessible location so that you can get to it quickly if a situation arises.
- Don’t limit your sight or hearing
Ditch the ear buds and don’t have your sweatshirt hood up, as these items limit your directional awareness. Listening to music not only limits your ability to hear if someone is around you, but also limits your cognizance of oncoming traffic and wild drivers that may pose a threat to you as a pedestrian. Hooded sweatshirts can give you tunnel vision by eliminating your peripheral vision, which puts you at the disadvantage of not being able to see the potential dangers around you.
- Communicate with your peers
Tell others where you are going, when you are leaving, and when you plan to be back. Choose a friend or family member who is accountable and will check in with you if they do not hear from you. With today’s technology, there are various apps you can download from which people can monitor you or you can even share your location with them from your phone.
To find out more about safety devices, such as safety whistles, and how they can keep you safe and deter crime, check out our crime deterrence page.