Sidewalks: Be Safe

Black and white photo of a well-lit sidewalk at night.

I never questioned my mother when she used to give me little snippets of warnings regarding sidewalks. These warnings would be filled with innocuous words, such as “careful” or “aware,” and I never put much thought to it. However, once I reached the age of eighteen, these warnings eventually died out. I realized she acknowledged I’m capable enough now to calculate when the sidewalks are safe and how to be safe when I’m there. I’m ever grateful that she passed down her wisdom to me. However, I didn’t realize until few months before that many young people might not have had those “little snippets of warnings.” That’s what this article is about; giving you the warnings my mother gave me. 

First things first, be aware of your surroundings. Be it night or day, always look around whenever you are walking down the sidewalks. You don’t have to look around constantly; just be aware of few things. For example, notice if the person walking behind you slows down when you slow down. It might be the case that the person is following you.  

Secondly, try not to use your phone and/or earphones when you are on the sidewalk. These could distract you from being aware of your surroundings and, also, you might become a victim of robbery.  

Thirdly, if you have to use the phone, try not to use it on a deserted part of the sidewalk.  

Fourthly, at night, try to walk where it is lit by streetlights. If the streetlights are poor or there are none, try to find more crowded sidewalks. I’ve found crowded areas to be usually, if not always, well-lit.  

Lastly, try to stay near couples, senior people or families. These are all safe choices, and personally, I have never felt more safe walking alone than following behind a young nuclear family.  

These advices are what kept me safe till now. I’m aware these might sound like common sense – which I acknowledge is true – but, nonetheless, I hope these will help. And always remember there are many more ways that you can keep yourself safe; you just have to find it, know it and recall it when necessary.