How Do I Stay Safe While Walking?

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Walking is a beneficial activity, and sometimes you don’t have any other option but to walk. Taking precautions is a must when walking in your neighborhood, to the store, or even just across a parking lot, but the number 1 rule is to ALWAYS be alert! This is especially true if you find yourself walking on the road itself instead of a sidewalk or footpath. Whether you’re walking in an urban, suburban, or rural area, at night or during the day, in a crowded or isolated area, below are some tips to keep in mind that will decrease your chances of being attacked or injured while walking.

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
    • Never let your guard down, even if you think the area is safe.
  • Never wear headphones while you’re walking.
  • Don’t talk on the phone or appear to be distracted.
  • Always walk with confidence, and keep your head up.
  • Look others in the eye.
    • This lets them know you are aware of their presence and that you have seen them.
  • Always face oncoming traffic when walking down the street.
    • This cuts down on the chances of being hit by a car, being followed, or being forced into a car & abducted.
  • If someone in a car stops and asks you for directions, or stops for any other reason, stay far enough away from the car that you can run away easily, and so that they can’t reach out and grab you.
    • It’s OK to say “I don’t know” & to walk away
      • Remember Ted Bundy? Criminals view niceness as weakness & they use it to their advantage.
  • If you feel threatened by, or suspicious of the occupants of a vehicle, walk or run to the nearest occupied building or home for help.
    • Make sure to run or walk in the opposite direction from which the car is traveling to buy yourself some extra time.
  • Never get into a car with some one you don’t know, or are leery of.
    • EVEN if they are threatening you.
      • If they are trying to force you into their vehicle, they have perilous intentions.
  • If you are walking toward someone suspicious, or feel as though you are being followed by someone on foot, go into a business or cross the street.
  • Maintain a safe, comfortable distance between yourself and anyone that you don’t know, or that you feel suspicious of.
  • Always be aware of blind spots & hiding places.
    • Keep an adequate distance between you and the wall when walking around corners, or when walking past doorways, alleyways, shrubbery & trees.
      • This gives you the advantage of seeing someone who might be using one of these places as a hiding spot.
  • Always be aware of people in the immediate area when entering or exiting an elevator, a building, or a vehicle.
    • If you are suspicious of anyone, access the situation, and proceed with caution accordingly.
  • When you are approaching a hallway, a parking area, an entryway, a stairway, etc., check the lighting first. If the lighting is not functioning properly, approach the area with caution.
    • A common tactic used by predators is to unscrew, to remove, or to break the light bulbs in such areas.

Use these rules to help you avoid mishaps, injuries, attacks or abductions while walking, and be prepared to alter your traveling path if you see or suspect anything suspicious.

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April Iser

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