Woman with mobile phone walking alone at night

Being aware of our surroundings can go a long way to avoid dangerous situations. Unfortunately, we are becoming more oblivious to the world around us—content to keep our heads down, engrossed in our cell phones. Nonetheless, here is some common sense advice we should all follow.

–Be cognizant of your surroundings. Look behind, to the front and sides of you.

–Follow your instincts. If something feels peculiar or unsafe, leave the area or call someone to

be with you.

–Avoid dark places, taking well-lighted and populous routes instead.

–Put the cell phones away—especially while walking in unfamiliar locations. Looking down at

your cell phone makes you an easy target for thieves and increases your chances of not

noticing oncoming cars while in a crosswalk, other pedestrians on the sidewalk—or you may

embarrassingly find yourself bumping into walls or falling into fountains (examples are all over

social media).