California is an incredible place to visit; its cities are a big part of that. There are countless things to see and do from Los Angeles to San Francisco. However, like any major city, there are also potential safety risks.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, taking precautions to keep yourself safe is important. We’ve compiled these tips for staying safe in California’s major cities.
Be aware of your surroundings
One of the simplest ways to stay safe in any major California city is to pay attention to what’s happening around you. In today’s smartphone-driven world, getting sucked into your screen and ignoring the world around you is easy.
The problem is the world around you can sometimes be dangerous. It can’t be stressed enough — be aware of your surroundings, especially at night or in unfamiliar areas. Avoid walking alone in quiet, isolated areas, and watch for suspicious behavior or people. If walking alone, stick to well-lit, populated areas and keep your cell phone.
Keep your valuables secure
Thieves target tourists, so don’t leave your belongings unattended or out of reach. Keep your phone, wallet, and other valuables close to you, and avoid having flashing expensive items around. Keep a purse or backpack close to your body, and never leave it unattended.
If you’re driving, don’t leave valuables in your car; park in a well-lit, secure area. Burglaries aren’t uncommon in California. Despite what you might think, it can happen to anyone. If you aren’t convinced, check out this article for some eye-opening statistics that will have you keeping your phone, keys, and wallet in your front pants pockets everywhere you go!
Use public transportation safely
Public transportation is a super-convenient way to get around in California’s cities, but it’s important to use it safely. While you’ll not likely encounter serious trouble on a city bus or tramway, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If possible, try to ride with other people, especially at night. Always be aware of your surroundings and be cautious when waiting for the bus or subway. Sit near the driver or in well-lit areas on the bus or train.
Traveling rarely goes as planned, but having a plan gives you (and your loved ones) an idea of how your trip will unfold. With that said, before you go out, plan your route and make sure you know where you’re going.
If you’re unfamiliar with the area, use a map app or ask for directions beforehand. Print directions if you have to. You don’t want to end up on the wrong side of town without knowing where you are! That’s especially true if you’re drinking.
Stay in touch with someone
One final rule —the most important— is always to tell a friend or family member where you’ll be or when you expect to return. This simple precaution could potentially prevent you from encountering danger.
Contact someone via text, phone calls, or in-person meetings whenever possible. Make sure to have your important contacts on speed dial in an emergency. That way, if something does happen —whether it’s an accident or you just get lost— you can easily get in touch.If you’re ever injured in an accident in California, there’s a good chance that you are eligible for compensation. To learn more about the steps you must take after an accident, visit Avian Law Group.
Finally, learning some basic self-defense techniques is always a good idea. This doesn’t mean you must enroll in martial arts classes — carrying a can of pepper spray or learning some simple defense maneuvers can go a long way.
Knowing how to protect yourself and your valuables in a dangerous situation isn’t only empowering; it could save your life one day. We recommend signing up for a self-defense class if you have the time and resources. It’s an investment that will pay off in the long run!
Keeping yourself safe in California’s major cities requires common sense and planning. Be aware of your surroundings, secure your belongings, use public transportation safely, plan your trips ahead and stay in touch with someone whenever you can. With these tips, you can enjoy and safely explore California’s major cities.