Worries about walking home at night?
Stay Safe While Walking Home at Night: You’re not alone – tons of people are scared of doing this (especially women, people of color, and LGBT individuals).
While that’s a sad truth, it doesn’t mean you can’t ever walk alone at night. You can definitely do that – just be sure to keep these tips in mind to stay safe:
1. Use a Good Security App
There are actually lots of apps developed to make people feel safer at night. Each one does different things – right now, we recommend Noonlight the most. Using a good safety app like it will help you relax more and avoid dangerous situations.
For one, Noonlight has a larger panic button you can use if you’re not feeling safe. If you press and hold it, a Noonlight dispatcher will get in touch with you (either over phone or text message) to see if you’re in danger. If you are, they’ll contact the authorities and share your location with them.
Noonlight’s free plan lets you use that feature, but its paid plan gives you access to even more perks. For example, you can integrate it with apps like Tinder, Alexa, Uber, and Lyft. Also, there a feature called Safety Network which you can use to add friends and family to the app. If they check up on you and you don’t respond, Noonlight will pinpoint your geo-location and send help your way.
And don’t worry – if you’re in a medical emergency, Noonlight lets you share your medical information with the responders, so that they can administer help faster.
Noonlight has a very user-friendly interface. But, right now, we recommend getting the iOS version instead of the Android one if possible. The iOS app has much more features than its Android counterpart.
2. Avoid Unsafe Areas
Sure, going through a sketchy, dim-lit alley might be a shortcut and you might get home faster, but it’s really not worth it. It’s better to take a slightly longer detour than to go through a potentially dangerous area (where nobody can help you!).
Of course, it’s not easy to tell which areas are unsafe. Some places might look okay but might be ridden with crime.
Enter WalkSafe. It’s an intuitive app that displays crime hotspots on a digital map. Its information is accurate because it uses monthly crime figures. What’s more, you don’t need to constantly look at your phone to make sure you’re avoiding a dangerous area. WalkSafe will automatically send you an alert when you’re getting near an unsafe area.
3. Call a Car
It can be expensive, sure, but it’s one of the best ways to get home fast and safe at night. We recommend setting aside some money each month that you can use on Uber of Lyft to avoid having to walking home at night.
True, there’s always a chance that a fake driver might show up – that happens from time to time. The best way to avoid that is to check the driver’s reviews before you call them to make sure they’re alright. Also, remember the car’s details and license plate. If a different car shows up, don’t get in!
Oh, and here’s a cool trick to remember – when the driver pulls up, ask them who they’re supposed to pick up. Don’t give them your name. If they don’t know your name, they’re likely a fake taxi.
And if you do get in a car, make sure you sit in the back not up front. If things take a wrong turn, it will be easier to escape that way.
4. Walk Through Populated Areas
Avoid empty streets and alleys at all cost and stick to main streets that have a lot of foot traffic (especially at night).
If something were to happen in this case, at least there are other people that can intervene. Though, to be honest, it’s highly unlikely that someone would try to do anything like that in front of a lot of people.
5. Don’t Use Headphones
Listening to music while you walk home at night can be relaxing – it sometimes really helps take the edge off. But it’s better to skip this – you’ll be more aware of your surroundings without your headphones. You’ll know if someone is talking about you, if they’re yelling after you, or if someone’s walking really fast behind you.
Plus, here’s another good reason to avoid headphones – they make you less of a target. If someone wants to steal from you, they’d be more likely to target you if they see you wearing expensive headphones.
6. Ditch the High Heels
Sure, they’re elegant, sexy, and make you look divine. But if you find yourself in a dangerous situation, you won’t be able to run in them. Well, you can try and might even be successful – but it won’t be extremely fast. And if a heel breaks you might end up in a very vulnerable position.
Instead, you should wear running shoes. If you start sensing that you’re in danger, you can easily escape by taking off.
Worst case scenario – if you really want to wear high heels to the even you’re attending, make sure you pack running shoes with you as a backup. That way, when you’re about to head home, you can change into your running shoes.
What Do You Do to Stay Safe While Walking Home at Night?
We offered some actionable tips, but we’d like to hear about your experiences too. What measures do you take to make sure you get home safe at night? Please let us know in the comments.