• Sarah Tian

Tips to Stay Safe Out There

Updated: May 26

Given the disturbing rise in hate crimes and other crimes in the U.S., it is more important than ever to learn about ways to best protect ourselves while we're out.


Although we can't stop crimes from happening, there are a number of things we can do to reduce the chances of crimes happening to us personally.


I've compiled a list of practical safety tips below that will help you stay safe, no matter if you are walking, driving, taking public transportation, or using ride-sharing services.



Being Safe While Walking

  • Keep an eye on your surroundings and look back occasionally to see if anyone is following you.

  • Avoid traveling alone after dark (unless necessary), especially if you are alone. 95 percent of attacks are against people traveling alone.

  • Carry some form of self-protection, like a pepper-spray. There are also alarm gadgets like Birdie that you can carry to alarm others if you need help.


Being Safe While Taking the Public Transportation

  • Avoid distractions like listening to music, reading or playing with your phone unless absolutely necessary while waiting for the bus/tram/subway. A few years ago, I witnessed a theft meters away from me right in front of my eyes. The victim was on their phone while waiting for the light rail. During the moment the light-rail approached the podium, the thief saw the perfect opportunity and snatched the phone from the student's hand and ran as fast as light before the student even realized what just happened. The student shouted and ran after the thief helplessly.


Being Safe While Taking Taxis & Ride-Shares

  • Be sure to check the car's plate number against the one shown in the ride-share app, so you make sure to go into the right car.

  • Turn on share your location with your trusted ones using the ride-share app's or your phone's location sharing functionality, so that someone knows at all times where you are. When I used to take Uber home from the airport late in the evening, I would deliberately call my partner to "accompany" me home and talk to me until I got home. The driver won't be able to hurt me since he/she knows there's someone who knows where I am and whom I can call for help right away.


Being Safe In and Out of Your Car

  • Always park in well-lit and busy areas, where there are plenty of passers-by. Thieves will be put off by the fact that they may be easily spotted. Avoid parking alone in your vehicle in high crime neighborhoods, empty roads and desolate areas of parking lots.

  • Don’t leave things in the visible parts of your car. Put all valuable things in the trunk (if you have to leave them in the car). Also make sure to do this before you leave and not after you park, as thieves may see you putting your valuables in the trunk and then break into your trunk after you are gone.

  • Make sure to lock your car immediately once you get in.

  • Don't hang around alone in your car while engaging in distracting activities like listening to music and being on your phone. If you have to stay in your car, be sure to park in a well-lit and busy area, lock your door and keep an eye on your surroundings.


I really hope these tips will help to keep your safe when you're out and about!



 

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References


Practical Ways to Protect Yourself Against Hate Incidents While Traveling


Hate Crimes Reach The Highest Level In More Than A Decade


Safety Planning for Hate Crimes Against the Asian/American Community


Keeping Your Car Safe: Tips for Preventing Auto Theft


How to prevent auto theft and carjacking

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