There are plenty of fun things to do when the sun goes down. Whether you’re catching a show with your girlfriends, going out to the bars with a group, or you’re picking someone up for a date, there are many ways to make memories late at night.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re guaranteed to make good memories. From accidents to crime, you’re also more likely to get into trouble when the sun goes down than you are during the day, which will leave you with bad memories instead of good ones.
That doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to run into trouble! It just means you have to do a little extra work to make sure your night out is a safe one with these tips.
1. Designate a Driver
If there is going to be any drinking at all, you need to designate a driver. According to Nicoletti Law Firm, in Florida alone, 8,476 people died between 2003 and 2012 in drunk driving accidents. Many thousands more were injured. You don’t want to be one of those people.
Make sure one member of your party commits to staying sober so everyone can get home safe. If everyone wants to drink, make a plan for how you’re going to get home. It could mean calling a cab, calling someone else to come and pick you up, or getting an Uber. It doesn’t really matter how you choose to get home, as long as everyone agrees, so no one is tempted to pick up their keys and say they are okay to drive after a few drinks.
2. Use the Buddy System
Whether you’re going out with just one or two other people or you’re going out together as a large group, using the buddy system can save your life. That’s because it’s much easier for criminals to go after people who are alone than a person who is with others.
That doesn’t mean you have to stay with your entire group for the whole night. Instead, partner everyone up with one person. It’s your job to stay with that person all night long. That means taking bathroom breaks together, leaving the party together, and making sure the other person gets home. It’s the best way to keep yourself out of trouble.
3. Avoid Distractions If You Find Yourself Alone
The buddy system is the best way to stay safe when you’re out at night, but that doesn’t mean it always works. If your buddy disappeared, or you have to make the last leg of your journey home alone, it’s important to avoid distractions while you’re walking.
Not only are you more likely to find yourself in an accident if you’re walking while using your phone, you also become an easy target for criminals. It doesn’t matter if you’re texting, browsing social media, or talking to a friend, by using your phone, you are less aware of your surroundings, which makes it easier to be mugged or kidnapped. Stay off your phone and be as aware of your surroundings as possible to deter criminals and keep yourself out of danger.
4. Get Your Phone Ready Before You Go Out
It’s true that your phone can distract you when you’re out at night, which can be disastrous if you find yourself alone, but it can also be your lifeline. It’s the best way to call for a sober ride, it enables you to check in with other friends who are out, and it’s a great way to keep friends and family back home up-to-date on what you’re doing.
Make sure your phone is ready for the evening by charging it before you go out. You may also want to consider downloading a safety app like:
- Circle of 6 helps you send a distress signal in a time of need
- Hollaback enables you to collect evidence of street harassment
- Shake2Safety allows you to get help by shaking your phone
- OnWatch connects you to various emergency contacts, like local police
5. Make Sure Someone Knows When to Expect You Home
In a perfect world, everyone in your group would be seen to the door at the end of the night. The truth is that at least one person is going to return home at the end of the night alone. If that person is you, it helps if others you live with know when to expect you. That way, if you don’t return home when you said you would, they know to get in contact with you. If they can’t, they know they need to start calling around because it means something went wrong.
6. Keep Your Stuff Safe
Losing your wallet or your phone can ruin your night and compromise your identity. That’s why staying safe at night means keeping your stuff safe too.
Never keep your wallet in your back pocket. You shouldn’t keep your phone there either. Not only are they easy to swipe and steal, they are also more likely to fall out. Keep them in a front pocket instead.
Keep your phone in your purse or a front pocket, so it doesn’t get forgotten about on a table. Only take what you need, so there’s less you can lose, and consider installing tracking devices on things like keys so you can locate them easily if they do get lost.
7. Carry a Self-Defense Product
Carrying a self-defense product can provide you with peace of mind when you’re out at night. Pepper spray is a popular one, as are rape whistles. You can also find apps that feature loud alarms that can help you if you should ever find yourself attacked.
It’s even better if you take a self-defense class. Not only will it help you take on a would-be assailant, it can also help you build confidence, in addition to improving your awareness, so you can avoid problems in the first place.
Going out at night can be a lot of fun! It can also be scary and dangerous. Make sure you end your night on a high note by keeping yourself safe with the tips on this list.