For some, such as those regularly working night shifts, walking at night is a regular occurrence. For others, it’s a far less common event. Either way walking at night can be a daunting and nerve-wracking experience. Especially if we’re unfamiliar with the area.
To help you stay safe and to make your night-time journeys more bearable, we’ve listed seven tips for staying safe when walking at night.
Hold your car or house keys in your pocket. Select the one you need to use and keep it in the proper position. This means that, when you get to your destination, you will be able to access your home or vehicle without fumbling around and getting distracted.
Your stilettos may look cute on the dancefloor, but they’re unlikely to be the most practical shoes for walking. If you’re anticipating walking home at some point during the night, try to wear shoes you’re comfortable walking in. If trainers aren’t a realistic fashion option, stash a pair of lightweight pumps in your bag before you go out.
It may take you longer, but stick to well-lit paths and roads rather than taking shortcuts through dark side streets and alleys. Stay in densely populated areas with lots of houses instead of walking through parks or across fields. If you’re forced to walk on the road, walk into the oncoming traffic. This will mean that you will see any oncoming traffic as it approaches you.
People who look confident are less likely to be targeted by criminals. So, even if you feel nervous, walk tall, take steady 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 modify your gait; just head to a nearby store or restaurant so that you can gather your bearings.
Hearing your favourite artists blast out some songs may help calm your nerves, but wearing headphones affects your ability to detect sounds around you. To remain maximally alert, keep your headphones out. This will help you avoid traffic and notice and respond to any unusual sounds in your vicinity.
Call a friend or family member. If it’s still early in the night, a pleasant chat with a loved one will calm you down and let people know where you are. Even if it’s very late, if you’re genuinely concerned, some one will still be happy to take your call. Stay on the phone until you reach your destination and talk them through what’s happening.
Even at night, you can use certain places as a refuge. For example, many pubs and bars have security officers positioned outside. If you’re worried, and such a venue is nearby, walk toward it – the presence of trained security staff and members of the public will deter any criminals targeting you. Other safe places include corner shops and police stations. If you strongly believe someone is following you, call the police.
• Most phones double up as a flashlight
• You can carry a whistle around your wrist or in your hand in case you need to raise the alarm
• Regardless of cost, if you’re tired, drunk or distracted, always take a cab home
• Don’t text or play on your phone as you walk
• Leave valuables – such as laptops or tablets – at home
Churchill Support Services is an established UK security company and a provider of overnight security. Our night security services, night time security guards and night security officers help organisations and businesses stay protected throughout the night.