Staying Safe While You Travel
Taking precautions while you travel will help ensure that you arrive at your destination safely. Follow these tips to stay safe on your way and where you stay.
Safe Driving Practices
- Make sure the vehicle you take is well-maintained before a driving trip—check that all fluids, tire pressure, and windshield wipers are at acceptable maintenance levels.
- Map your route ahead of time with alternate detours planned in case of road closures.
- Wear seat belts at all times, and avoid distractions such as talking on a cell phone or eating while driving. Don't text and drive - it can be fatal.
- If you are tired, stop. A short rest stop can make a big difference in mitigating risk on the road.
- Keep car doors locked at all times, and don't leave valuables in sight when you leave the car.
- Pay close attention to posted speed limits; they may vary widely along your route.
- Practice defensive driving; be aware of your surroundings, and leave room around your vehicle for an escape route.
Public Transportation Precautions
- Only take public transportation that is clearly identified with official markings.
- Be hypervigilant in crowded public transportation areas, such as subway or train stations, as these are hot-spots for organized pickpocketing and theft.
- Pickpockets use methods of distraction to commit their crimes, often involving an accomplice. These methods include bumping or jostling you, asking a question such as directions or the time, pointing out something on your clothing or bag, or creating a disturbance around you. If a person invades your personal space or blocks your path, or you feel suspicious of their motives for addressing you, move away as quickly as possible, and report your suspicions to the nearest authority.
- Carry bags cross-body, held tightly and opposite from the high-traffic pathway. Carry your wallet in your front pocket.
- Move about with a sense of purpose and confidence. Only ask authorities if you need directions.
- Do not discuss your travel plans with strangers, regardless of how innocent it seems. You can't be sure who is listening. Likewise, do not "tweet" or post about your travel plans until you return home; avoid publicizing that your house is vacant.
- Do not accept gifts, food, or drink from strangers.
- Lock sleeping compartments, or take turns sleeping in shifts with your fellow travelers.
- If you are confronted, remember that your safety is worth more than your valuables.
Hotel Safety Tips
- Plan to stay in reputable, large hotels that have substantial security measures in place.
- Reserve a room between the second and seventh floor if possible. This is high enough to deter easy access from the outside yet low enough to be in reach of fire equipment.
- Park in a well-lit, visible area of the parking lot, within the line of sight of surveillance cameras if possible.
- Do not leave valuables visible in your vehicle overnight. Bring baggage, cell phones, GPS equipment, and other valuables into the hotel with you.
- Keep your hotel door closed and locked at all times.
- Keep money and other valuables in the hotel room safe while you are out.
- When you leave, let hotel staff know when you should be expected back.
- Guard your room keys; don't leave them unattended in public areas. Don't leave your purse or bags unattended at hotel restaurant areas or lounges. Obtain a new-keyed card as soon as possible from hotel staff if you lose the plastic key card to your room.
- Familiarize yourself with fire safety instructions and locations of exits and stairwells.
- Avoid stairwells if you are alone, and do not get on an elevator if you are uncomfortable or suspicious of a person inside it.
About U.S. Security Associates
U.S. Security Associates (USA) is one of North America's largest security companies, with 160 locally-responsive offices providing premier national security services and global consulting and investigations to customers in a range of industries. Recognized for world class customer service, leading-edge technology, and an enterprise approach to risk management, USA offers optimized security solutions to meet specific customer needs. USA is committed to building quality security and risk management programs that are Safe. Secure. Friendly.® The Securing Knowledge series is part of the extensive and growing library of reference and training tools that contribute to USA's award-winning customer service and benchmark security programs. USA's investment in training and development resources is reflected not only by BEST Awards from the American Society for Training & Development, consistent ranking on the Training magazine Top 125, and technology-driven quality management system, but also by the company's leadership team, security officers, and service excellence on a daily basis.