Ideally, we would all live in a world where anyone could walk down an empty street alone at night without worry. Unfortunately, there are dangers out there for both men and women. So always be aware of your surroundings and stay alert. What else can help? Carrying one or more personal safety devices and following some reliable strategies for when you—or a loved one—is out and about.
Is It Actually That Dangerous to Walk Alone at Night?
Walking alone is dangerous for the simple reason that you’re an easier target for criminals. Furthermore, statistics show that most crime happens at night. So, walking alone at night is always going to be more dangerous than either walking with a group at night or walking by yourself during the day.
How to Stay Safe at Night When Walking Alone
It’s always best to avoid walking alone at night when you can. However, sometimes it’s simply unavoidable. Perhaps your car breaks down, or you just happen to find yourself on a vacant street that’s usually busy.
In these situations, follow these guidelines for safety:
Walk with purpose and don’t stop.
Would-be attackers are looking for easy targets at night. Someone walking slowly along with their head down or distractedly looking at a cell phone is an easy target.
By walking purposefully with good posture and your head held high, you can silently intimidate those who might try to get in your way. And remember, do not stop walking or slow down to look at your phone, make a call, or check a map until you’re in a more populated or well-lit area.
Invest in a way you could call for help if you needed to.
Personal safety devices come in many forms, from alarms and whistles, to blinding lights and sprays that can disorient an attacker. If you’ve never owned such a device before, personal safety alarms are a good place to start.
Alarms sound off a loud noise that not only startles your attacker, but also signals to those within earshot that something’s wrong. The iMaxAlarm – Personal Security Alarm, for example, fits innocently on any key ring or the edge of your purse or belt loop. When you need help, simply pull the pin out, and a 130 dB siren will sound.
If you prefer an alarm that’s more at-the-ready, you can try the iMaxAlarm – Wearable Personal Security Alarm. It fits around your wrist and looks like a standard watch, but has the same extra loud 130 dB alarm.
Finally, the GEKO – GPS Connected Safety Whistle is a seemingly simple whistle with extra powerful abilities. This device, can be used as a standard whistle, but it’s also a GPS tracker. Once activated, the device will call, text, and send emails to contacts you trust — complete with your exact GPS location.
Carry something in your hand.
Would-be criminals are also more sensitive to pedestrians who are carrying something, so it’s a good idea to have something in your hands while you walk. You might even swing it around in an intimidating way. For example, this can be done with an umbrella or even a shopping bag (not your purse).
One of the best things to carry is a debilitating device, such as the Plegium – 5-in-1 Smart Pepper Spray. It can be used as a pepper spray, but it’s also a blinding strobe light, a loud emergency alarm, and an alert system that can send texts and calls to your trusted contacts as soon as it’s used.
Alternatively, if all you have is your keys with you, push one key in between each of your fingers on one hand, and make a fist with it.
Speaking of keys, if you’re heading to your vehicle or home, you should definitely have your key ready to use and in your hand. Attackers often target pedestrians while they’re distracted and looking for their keys in a doorway or at their car in the parking lot.
Stay away from alleyways and dark corners.
It’s always best to steer clear from dark places like an alleyway, behind a dumpster, or around a corner. If you see you’ll need to pass an alleyway on the sidewalk up ahead, for example, give the alleyway entrance a wide berth by moving from the sidewalk toward the street (being wary of traffic).
Trust your gut.
Finally, take note of your instincts as you move along and make wise decisions. While you may be in a situation where you don’t have a choice not to walk alone at night, you’ll still have some choices to make.
If you’re completely lost, for example, don’t stop to ask just anyone for directions. Look for an open store, café, or police station. If you have to choose between a shortcut through a dimly-lit park and a street that’s out of your way but more public, go for the street. It’s at night when you’re alone that these choices truly matter.
Find the Personal Safety Devices That Meet Your Needs
If you think you may someday be in a situation in which you have to walk alone at night, personal safety devices will not only offer you practical protection, but they’ll also give you peace of mind.
What’s important is to find the safety devices that meet your needs. Use this guide to filter your options and help stay safe when walking alone at night.
Looking for personal safety devices for running? Check out our marathon training guide for products to help keep you safe while running.
Never miss a post, video, or feature. See what’s new on What’s Next!