10 Ways to Walk Back to Your Car Safely

| August 30, 2012

Know when you’re vulnerable: parking garages have a high crime rate (via Cape Town Daily).

August 30, 2012 — Dim and unfenced, parking garages are among the most likely settings for abduction or assault. In garages, people are easier targets; they are busy, preoccupied, often alone, and carrying their valuables. Garages themselves have all the features of high-crime areas: poor security, low visibility, and generally isolated. Liability Consultants, Inc. reports that one-third of the lawsuits they reviewed in a recent study — with instances of murder, rape, robbery, and assault — occurred in a parking garage.

At the same time, parking garages are a real convenience, especially in cities where parking is scarce or expensive.  That’s why we’ve listed you a few precautions to take, inside your car and outside of it.

1) One of the perks of living in a city is having options. If you’re able, plan ahead and research the different garages available in your area. The best crime deterrent is a parking attendant—but security cameras and good lighting increase safety, too. If you know you’ll be out late or alone, don’t skimp on paying higher  fees for a safer garage.  One that’s well-maintained can stop a crime before it begins.

from MySafetySign.com

Always be attentive, especially if a parking garage is part of your daily routine . 

2) When you’re in a garage, be mindful of the security features that are available to you. Avoid darkened areas or any spaces that may be “blind” to security cameras. Many garages also have emergency call phones or buttons. Take note of where they are; walk near them on your way through. This is especially important in underground garages where your cellphone signal may be blocked.

3) Don’t overburden yourself with belongings. Keep a hand free in order to react to a possible attacker. Have your key ready, with a whistle and flashlight on the ring. If you’re shopping that day, keep in mind that many stores will have your purchases mailed to your residence for little to no extra charge.

4) You may feel safer if you’re texting or talking with a friend, but ultimately it’s more important to be vigilant and undistracted in a high-crime area. Wait until you’re out of the garage, off the road, and back home safely to check in with friends and family.

Many parking garages have emergency phones that immediately connect you to the police or a nearby security guard

5) Walk with confidence and purpose. Predators often target people who look like they could be easily overwhelmed or taken advantage of; simply being mindful of your body language could protect you from a possible dangers. If you’re wearing heels, bring a pair of flat shoes to wear while venturing through the garage.

6) If you have an automatic unlocking system, only unlock the driver’s side, rather than the whole vehicle. This usually means pressing your unlock button once rather than twice. Wait until your vehicle is in sight before unlocking it, so that you never give a perpetrator the opportunity to slip into the vehicle before you.

7) It’s a movie cliché, but always look in the backseat before entering your vehicle. Since parking garages are isolated, it’s an opportune place for a predator to break into a car while you’re away without anyone taking notice.

8) Once you are securely in your car, lock the doors right away. Failing to do this leaves a window of opportunity for someone to approach you while you’re sitting down and unable to easily escape.

If you need a moment before your journey, don’t linger in the garage. Pull over in a well-lit area on your route home (via LED-Professional).

9) Don’t forget that even in your car, you’re still vulnerable in a parking garage. Leave immediately. If you need a few minutes in the car to arrange things, pull over in a well-lit, public place when you’re on your route home.

10) Above all, do not go into suspicious situations alone. If you see someone lingering by your car, or a dark-tinted van or large vehicle parked beside you, report it. Wait for a parking attendant or security guard to accompany you safely to your vehicle.

– C. Stebbins

Category: No Parking