Tips for a safe, stress-free commute
To mark Personal Safety Day 2021, here are some helpful tips for a safe and stress-free commute, whether you walk, cycle, or travel by bus, train or car.
In a recent SoloProtect poll for Personal Safety Day 2021, 62% of respondents said they have experienced, violence, abuse, or aggression during their commute.
And a survey by Suzy Lamplugh Trust found a whopping 88% of respondents had experienced unwanted violent, aggressive, or sexual behaviours on UK public transport in the past five years.
You can read more about these findings and the responsibilities of employers to protect their staff during their commute in our news article:
Violence, abuse and aggression experienced by nearly two-thirds of commuters.
With all this in mind, we’ve put together some helpful safety tips for commuters, whether you walk, cycle, or travel by bus, train or car. You can share this web page with your teams or download our useful infographic >
General safety tips for commuters
- Plan your route. This is important whether you’re walking, cycling, using public transport or driving.
- Communicate. Make sure someone knows what time you’re expected at work and what time you’re due home. Any variations to this will then raise alarm bells.
- Be theft aware. Keep your valuables stored safely away where they can’t be snatched.
- Avoid rush hour. This isn’t possible for everyone but a great one if you can. Tensions can run high during rush hour with so many people vying to get to work or home on time.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable i.e. someone in the vicinity is behaving strangely, get up and move away if you can. If you’re on a train, get off and move to a different carriage or get off the train and get on the next one.
- Be prepared. Whichever mode of transport you choose, ensure you are appropriately prepared for the weather conditions e.g. follow tips from the RAC to reduce your chances of breaking down in the cold, carry a torch when it’s dark, wear warm clothing in winter etc.
- Report incidents. Report any incidents to the police using 101 or use 999 for emergencies.
- Know your location. Are you confident that you could quickly report the location of an incident? Download an app such as what3words to your phone. If you get in trouble and you’re not sure where you are, just consult the app.
- Use a safety device or app. Use a personal safety device or mobile app to ensure you can quickly call for help in an emergency (more information below).
Safety tips for commuting by bus or train
- Watch and listen. If you’re commuting on public transport, it’s good to make use of your downtime by reading, listening to music or watching a video. However, anyone who lets their guard down can be a prime target for attackers and thieves. Try to ensure you can always hear and see what’s going on around you.
- Stay near to others. When travelling by train or bus, it can be tempting to sit in the quietest spot. Try to sit in a place where there are some other people around to witness any wrongdoing. If you’re travelling late at night, try to sit close to the driver.
- Know your exits. It’s important to know where the exits are on a train or bus, or in a station so you can escape quickly if necessary.
- Alert someone. If you see anything that makes you uncomfortable or is suspicious, alert someone as soon as possible (and when it’s safe to do so) e.g. a bus driver or other public transport staff member.
Safety tips for those who drive
- Record the evidence. If you regularly experience issues while driving (or cycling) to and from work, use a Dashcam to record evidence of any incidents.
- Carshare. Consider car sharing with people you know. It can reduce stress, is great for the environment and means you have others around for moral support should anything happen.
- Keep calm. It’s important to stay calm while driving – even if you’re running late or stuck in traffic. Stress can result in more erratic driving and accidents.
Safety tips for taking a taxi
- Is it registered? If you’re using a taxi, always use a cab with a registered license ID number on the back.
- Pre-book. Always prebook with a reputable firm and check who the driver has turned up for before getting in.
Safety tips for walking or cycling
- Use well-lit routes. If you’re walking or cycling, stick to well-lit, popular routes – even if they take longer.
- Be seen. If you’re cycling or walking, particularly in the dark, make sure you have appropriate reflective clothing. Cyclists will also need a helmet and lights.
- Ask for company. If possible, meet a colleague and walk or cycle together.
How can a SoloProtect safety solution help to protect employees on their commute?
Providing your employees with a SoloProtect personal safety solution can give them the means to discreetly call for help in an emergency, providing peace of mind that someone will quickly be there to help them should an incident occur.
If the user feels their personal safety is under threat, they can discreetly activate a “Red Alert” at the push of a button. This opens a call with our Monitoring Centre where specially trained operators will listen in to the incident, locate the device, establish the severity of the incident, and send the appropriate help e.g. notifying the police, ambulance service, manager, or family member.
Alternatively, if the user is entering a situation where they can see clear evidence of risk, such as walking through a car park at night past a group of people who are behaving suspiciously, they can open a Ready2Talk® call with the Monitoring Centre. The operator will then stay on the line until the user has confirmed they’re safe. And, if the situation does escalate, the operator can upgrade the call to a Red Alert.
Many SoloProtect customers equip their staff with a safety device or mobile app that can be used during working hours, and we also encourage them to allow their colleagues to use it during their commute:
"The safety of our staff, service users and the public is paramount in what we do. The SoloProtect device gives staff the reassurance that, if there were an incident, they would get the help that was needed. Our aim is to ensure our staff get home safe, the SoloProtect device helps us do that."
Business Support and IT Manager, Serco Group PLC
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If you’d like more information or a demo, please don’t hesitate to contact us.