Stay Aware to Stay Safe
Two women were recently attacked in two La Grange parking lots. Both attacks occurred in the evening, and each woman was in her car when a man approached her with a gun and demanded money.
One robbery victim, however, successfully evaded her attacker by being aware of her surroundings and employing protective measures. She noticed the man ducking suspiciously in the shadows of a nearby building. By keeping her doors locked and her car running, she was able to shield herself from the attacker and then exit the situation by driving away.
Protect yourself from potentially dangerous situations with the following public safety tips.
Public Safety Tips | Parking Lot Safety
Take Mom’s advice: look both ways before you cross the street. Cars with quieter engines can sneak up on you if you don’t keep watch around you. An approaching cyclist may make no noise at all.
Pay attention. While walking through a parking lot, don’t wear headphones or stare at your phone, setting yourself up to be surprised. Watch for cars backing out of parking spots; you may be in a driver’s blind spot. When available, use sidewalks and crosswalks to protect yourself from inattentive drivers.
As well, try to walk through more open areas rather than weaving between parked cars. This helps create more space between you and a potential attacker, giving you more time to react.
Public Safety Tips | Setup Safety Measures
Give yourself time to react to potential dangers. Sitting in an unlocked car may open yourself up to a surprise attack. Simply locking the doors prevents getting caught off-guard. Additionally, lock your car before walking away to keep a potential attacker from hiding in your back seat.
Carry a loud whistle that you can use to alert others in the area of a dangerous situation. There is safety in numbers. You’re never too old for the buddy system.
Public Safety Tips | Maintain Your Calm
Most people mean to do no harm, and instances of crime may be few and far between in your community. Being prepared, however, is the best defense in any potentially dangerous situation. Keeping calm and alert can also help protect you in the case of an accident.
Keep your eyes open, and watch out for yourself and others around you.
Sources: Michelle Bufkin, AU Agriculture Communications Student/EDEN Community of Practice Social Media Assistant, “Tips about Returning to Campus Safety.” Ohio University Extension, “Safety Tips.” Oregon University Extension, “Safety & Risk Management.”