Safety Strategies for the Streets

Following these tips can make you less vulnerable on the street.

  • Know where you're going and the safest way to get there. Tell a friend when you'll be leaving and when you expect to arrive.

  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes so you'll be able to move fast if you have to.

  • Walk at a good, steady pace, and keep your head up -- don't look down at the ground.

  • Look confident -- if you find yourself in unfamiliar surroundings, don't show confusion or alarm.

  • Avoid carrying lots of packages -- it can make you look defenseless.

  • Stay on well-lit streets -- choose routes where other people will be walking. Walk with a friend, whenever possible.

  • Don't wear headphones -- they make you less aware of what's going on around you.

  • Change course -- if someone is following you on foot. Cross the street and head toward people. If followed by a car, turn around and walk in the opposite direction.

  • Carry a whistle or other noisemaker. The sound may scare off an attacker.

  • Don't stand too close to a the car if you're giving a motorist directions.

  • Take special care when jogging or biking. Vary your route. Go with a friend and avoid isolated areas.