Staying Safe When Walking Home at Night
We all find ourselves walking alone at night sometimes.
For many people, especially those working night shifts, walking at night time is a regular thing. For others, it’s something which is a rare experience. Regardless, walking at night can be an intimidating and nervous experience. Especially if you’re not familiar with the surrounding area
To help you stay safe and to make your journeys more tolerable, we’ve listed a few tips for staying safe while walking during the night.
1) Have your keys ready
Keep your house or car keys in a n easy to access pocket. Select the one you need to use and keep it in the same pocket. This means when you get to your destination, you will be able to access your home or car without rummaging around, getting distracted and wasting time.
2) Have practical footwear available
Your high heels may add a couple of inches or your new work shoes might look snazzy, but they’re unlikely to be the most ideal shoes for walking. If you’re anticipating walking home at some point during the night, try to wear some shoes you’re comfy walking in. A pair of trainers or light weight pumps which are easy to stash in your bag are a perfect option.
3) Stick to bright areas
It might take you a little longer, but stick to well-lit routes rather than taking shortcuts through alleys and dark side streets. Stay in well populated areas with lots of houses and try to avoid walking through parks or across fields. If you have to walk on the road, walk towards the oncoming traffic. You will be able to see the traffic coming towards you then.
4) Fake It Until You Make It (Home)
People who appear confident are less likely to be targeted by criminals than those who look worried and afraid. So, even if you feel anxious, stand tall, take steady, strong strides and keep your eyes forward – and don’t be afraid to make eye contact with those you pass. If you get lost or become panicked, don’t change your walk or direction; just head to a nearby store or restaurant so that you can gather your bearings then carry on with your journey.
5) No Headphones
Listening to some songs may help calm your nerves, but wearing headphones reduces your ability to hear sounds around you. To remain as alert as possible, avoid putting headphones on, or just put in one earphone. This will help you be able to detect any unusual sounds or hear approaching traffic.
6) Call a friend
Call a friend or a member of your family. If it’s early evening, a nice little chat with a loved one will help calm you down and you can let people know where you are. Even if it’s quite late and you’re genuinely concerned, someone will still be happy to take your call. Stay on the phone until you have reached your destination and talk them through what’s happening.
7) Worried? Head to a safe place
Even at night, there are still places you can go to if you feel unnerved. For example, many bars and pubs have security officers located outside. If you’re worried, and such a venue is near, walk towards it – the presence of trained and qualified security officers and members of the public will discourage any criminals targeting you. Other safe places include corner shops and police stations. If you strongly believe someone is following you, do not hesitate to call the police.
A couple of other tips:
Most phones can also double up as a flashlight
You can carry a whistle around with you, just in case you need to raise the alarm
Take a cab home if your tired, drunk or distracted. They are safe and a quick way to get home
Try to avoid texting or playing on your phone as you walk
Leave valuables – such as laptops or tablets, at home
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