(SurvivalDaily.com) – We all want to be safe in today’s day and age, whether it’s at home or on the go. One aspect of personal safety some of us forget to be mindful of is our daily commute to and from work, or other necessary stops essential for day to day living.
Whether you commute via public transportation services, your personal conveyance or ride-hailing services, there are a few things you can do to make it harder for would-be attackers to pin down your schedule.
Break It Up
One easy way to break up your normal travel routine, and to thwart would-be assailants, is to pull up the mapping system in your GPS device and choose a different travel route a couple of days a week. Most GPS systems allow you to choose the fastest route, or to include tolls in your travel plan. Try using a different route at least twice a week.
Don’t forget to include extra travel times on the days you choose different routes. If a new travel plan a couple of days a week makes you late to work, you’ll be less inclined to keep up the new driving techniques.
Leave your home earlier than normal a few days a week before heading to work or the gym. This will help you eliminate any patterns that will make you predictable.
When commuting to any of your normal places, watch your rearview mirror and outside mirrors. Change lanes for no reason. Watch the vehicles that are second through the fourth behind you. Potential attackers likely don’t want to be the first vehicle behind you and will attempt to conceal themselves into normal traffic. Try to identify and remember the last three or four characters on a license plate of any vehicle that looks to be attempting to follow you. It’s easier to remember the color of a vehicle and the first or last three digits of the license plate rather than the whole thing.
If you normally drive your own vehicle for your daily commute, use a ride-hail service, such as Uber, once or twice a week; and never on the same day. When possible, rotate between the ride-hailing services in your area.
Don’t be a Target
Most would-be assailants want an easy target. Find people you work with or work in close proximity to and carpool with them when available. There is safety in numbers and it’s one more thing you can do to break up your normal routine. Not only can it help make you safer, but it can also help save you money and vehicle wear and tear.
Get outside your normal comfort zone. Instead of traveling the same way home by memory or GPS, add a few left and or right turns to your commute and see your community. Not only will it discourage potential threats, but it can also help make you more aware of escape options or routes you were previously unaware of.
Always be aware of roadside conditions and options available to you. You never know when a sudden flat tire or other vehicle malfunction may put you out of commission for a would-be assailant. Most major roadways have a white pole placed into the ground along the road.
These poles will have between one and three yellow reflective stickers. One indicates that a portion of the grassy area is relatively flat and can be pulled over fairly quickly if the situation calls for it. Two stickers mean there is an incline or slight grade and some caution should be used when entering the area. Three stickers mean, if possible, avoid the area and proceed further down the road to a more stable location.
When you can, avoid buying gas at the same location all the time or in a pattern. If you normally purchase gas on your way home from work, try purchasing it on the way to work in the morning to break up your routine. If you have a favorite coffee shop for your commute, try adding in a new one.
If you live with someone, take their vehicle for your daily commute a couple of times a week. This tactic can make it harder for people to spot you at places you normally stop during your travels.
When you make your required stops during your drive, look at the people around you. Make eye contact, and maintain it for a moment — attackers don’t want to be seen or recognized and this small gesture is one more tool in your arsenal of personal safety.
Complacency makes us easier targets. Vigilance, awareness of our surroundings, and just these few tips can help us ensure our personal safety.
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