Planes, trains, automobiles and buses. What do they all have in common? They are all forms of public transportation which many of us rely on to save money and get to a destination more efficiently. Whether you live in the city, suburbs or in rural America, at some time in your life you will ride public transportation. If you live in a city you will most likely have a daily routine of hopping on a bus, jumping in a cab or waiting to catch the subway.
When these daily activities become routine we have a tendency to get comfortable and you may forget all about the importance of personal safety or push it to the back of your mind because after all, you do this every day and nothing has happen to you yet, right? So why bother now? Well, all it takes is a few seconds of something bad to happen to you that will change the rest of your life! We strongly encourage you follow these 15 simple personal safety tips for all public transportation.
1. Know the route, departure times, pick up locations, and how much money and change you will need to pay. Thieves are looking for someone who is distracted and leaving cash out in the open.
2. Let someone know your routine or travel schedule. If you don’t contact them when expected, they will have an idea where to start looking for you.
3. Wait in a lighted and busy area. If not possible wait in a nearby store or place where there are people and you can see when your transportation arrives.
4. Be aware of your surroundings. If you feel uneasy or threatened, change your seat or alert the driver. If needed get off at the next busy stop.
5. Avoid sitting next to the door. This is the best spot for a snatch and grab. Sit near the driver.
6. Sit in an exposed area preferably in an aisle seat. This helps you circumvent from being cornered and allows you to be aware of your surroundings.
7. Do not sleep. Thieves are looking for an easy target.
8. Do not put your purse or shopping bag down on the seat next to you. Keep them in your lap, under your arm or between your feet.
9. While you are sitting, look around for the emergency buttons and exits. In a panic situation you will know where to go quickly.
10. Don’t attract attention. Avoid wearing or displaying expensive looking jewelry. Thieves may not know the difference between costume and real jewelry.
11. Be aware of arguments or passengers creating attention. Thieves will try to distract you while they steal your purse.
12. After you call for a cab ask for the driver’s name. When that person arrives ask them their name to ensure it’s not a bad guy who saw you waiting for a cab and sees it as an opportunity to kidnap or attack you.
13. Trust your instincts; women are usually good at this. If you don’t feel comfortable with a cab driver or any public transportation don’t get in.
14. Carry a cell phone with you that is easily accessible and has 911 on speed dial.
15. Carry pepper spray with you and on your key chain for quick access. It’s extremely effective, non-lethal and legal in all 50 states.
For more information about Simple Self Defense for Women® and their workshops, key note speaking