When you stop and think about it, we spend a lot of time in parking lots. Most of us stroll through the parking lots without giving the practice a second thought. We’re simply walking to our car.
The problem is that we tend to take parking lots for granted and seldom stop to think just how vulnerable we are while we walk to our vehicles. That’s why so many abductions happen in parking lots. We’re not usually paying any attention, we’re relaxed, and thanks to all the other vehicles, abductors do not have plenty of places to hide and wait for a victim to walk past.
Considering how many abductions take place in parking lots, it’s important that you stop treating walking across the lot to your car as a casual stroll and actively take steps to protect yourself.
Put Your Phone Down
One of the things an attacker looks for in a potential victim is someone who isn’t paying attention. In other words, they’re looking for someone who is on their cell phone. Spend a few minutes in any parking lot and you’ll notice that most of the people who walk past you have their phones in their hands and their eyes glued to the screen.
Tuck your phone into your pocket until you reach your car. If you do have to take a call, use a speaker phone and keep your eyes up while you walk and talk.
It doesn’t matter how nice a day it is, when you’re walking across a parking lot to your car, it’s in your best interest to keep moving. The quicker you walk, the less appealing you are to a potential attacker.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
In addition to keeping your feet moving, you should also keep your head up and your eyes moving. Look around your surroundings. Take note of anyone who seems to be acting strangely and take evasive action.
Be Smart About Parking
When you are looking for a parking space, select a spot that’s near the front of the lot. The less time you spend in the parking lot, the safer you’ll be. If you’re going to be in the parking lot after dark, make sure you park in a well-lit area.
There’s Safety in Numbers
Whenever possible, stick to groups of people when you go into the parking lot. Attackers look for individuals, not people who are in a group. If you’re nervous about going into the parking lot, it’s okay to find someone and ask if they’ll walk with you to your car.
If you are attacked in a parking lot, make lots of noise. Attackers are looking for willing victims. If you scream, they will likely let you go and flee the scene. It doesn’t hurt to carry a safety whistle or to attach a small security alarm to your keyring.