Growing up downtown as opposed to a quiet suburb is a vastly different experience. We could spend hours debating the pros and cons of urban life but let's leave that discussion for another time and focus on something different instead. 'Street smarts.'

We at Fashion Life discovered a few posts on Reddit (one by u/breadedsnake and another by u/ForcupinePucker) with a very similar angle: both OPs asked users to share tips that can help people stay safe in the city. And since some of the entries are so useful, we thought why not combine them into a compilation? You never know when you might need them!

#1

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Street smarts to give your kids: if you get lost, find the closest adult with kids.

I saw this in action once at Disneyland when a 4 year old kid approached me and my kiddos while we were eating. She joined us very calmly, introduced herself, and said her parents gave her the above advice. I heard her parents shouting her name not long after, and the relief on their faces was a sight.

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Francis
Community Member
1 year ago

my brother gave his sons the same advice and he also wrote their names, his name and his phone number on a plastic card which the boys wore on a necklace when we visited an amusement park. if we lost them/they lost us, they should found another parent/other kids with parents and tell them to call us :) it wasn't necessary but we felt more safe that way

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#2

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) If I'm in an unfamiliar city, I'll explore freely every neighbourhood as long as there are women and kids around. Most mums don't hang outside with their kids if the street/area is unsafe.

This worked very well for most throughout Latin America, Europe and Asia.

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Caro Caro
Community Member
1 year ago

Good tip.

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From the first day of his presidency to his campaign for reelection, Donald Trump has been shouting about crime in the United States. Trump vowed to end “American carnage” in his inaugural address in 2017 and in 2020, he ran for reelection on a platform of “law and order.”

But according to the Pew Research Center, it's difficult to say for certain how much crime is there in the U.S. The two primary sources of government crime data – the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) – both paint an incomplete picture.

#3

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Adults DO NOT ask children for help.

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NsG
Community Member
1 year ago

This is important and needs to be made common knowledge in schools. However, this should not be a blanket "if an adult shouts for help, ignore them" rule. It is perfectly reasonable to ask kids to go get another adult for help in the case of a medical emergency. No adult should APPROACH a child in any case, but yelling "hey, kid, get your mum to call an ambulance for this guy!" is not an unreasonable or suspicious request.

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#4

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) If the situation doesn't feel right, it's not right. Trust your spidey sense.

E_911 , Gadjo_Niglo Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
1 year ago

True. You have gut feelings for a reason.

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u/breadedsnake, the author of one of the above-mentioned Reddit posts, told Fashion Life that, "Before I made the post, I was actually thinking about sneaking out at night to walk to one of my friend's house and then I realized that I would probably get kidnapped considering that I don't really know how to act."

"I guess you could say I made the post so I could get to know some stuff and also get some free Reddit karma." 

The main thing that u/breadedsnake took away from all the answers is to stay alert whenever you're in a dangerous area. "[People stressed that it's important] to look around you and focus on more than what's in front of you; someone can run up from behind! And don't try to be a superhero—if you're seeing someone being attacked, just assume they started it and don't get involved with anything you don't have to."

#5

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Walk fast and look pissed off.

Heroshade , Brian Evans Report

CH1990
Community Member
1 year ago

Yes. Don't you dare look afraid

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#6

If you have a random cop come to your house on The night before you leave for Europe with your family, don’t tell him your going away until you call his superior to make sure he’s a cop.

Your welcome you filthy animals

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K Witmer
Community Member
1 year ago

This made me laugh

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In u/breadedsnake's opinion, everyone should have at least a little bit of street smarts.

That's true. But luckily for our health, property crime in the U.S. is much more common than violent crime. In 2019, the FBI reported a total of 2,109.9 property crimes per 100,000 people, compared with 379.4 violent crimes per 100,000 people. 

The most common form of property crime in 2019 was larceny/theft, followed by burglary and motor vehicle theft. Among violent crimes, aggravated assault was the most common offense, followed by robbery, rape, and murder/non-negligent manslaughter.

#7

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) If a group of people suddenly get down, so do you.

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
1 year ago

That's how I wound up in a weird flash mob once lol. But seriously, don't literally stand out and make yourself a target.

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#8

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) You might be "correct" when you have the right of way, but you're still the one that's going to be dead when you get whacked by the car if you're walking or on your bike.

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Geoffers
Community Member
1 year ago

It's not about who's right.. it's about who's left.

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#9

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) If you're walking and someone approaches, don't break stride. You can carry on a conversation while walking, but people who are looking to proselytize, sell you something, or mug you will want you to slow or stop to address them.

If they want to chat, make them keep up with you. You can even tell them that you're in a rush but would love to talk and walk.

They'll likely find someone more stationary, because if you can make a person slow, you can make them stop. If you can make them stop, you've already adjusted their priorities and placed yourself at the top.

It's a subtle power game. Keep going where you're going, and you retain your power. Stop and cat, and you've given it up and opened yourself to possible problems.

Diablo165 , Brian Evans Report

Sheila Stamey
Community Member
1 year ago

Lots of truth here! I'm going nuts to make a joke about stopping to cat, but I'd be kitten myself that it's funny. Anyway,a great entry!

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#10

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Having good manners, and speaking with respect, will keep you from getting in trouble you didn't know was there.

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
1 year ago

That's an overall good lifestyle choice.

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#11

Just because someone is friendly with you, doesn't mean they have a good heart.

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beastmachine.
Community Member
1 year ago

Sad but true af

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#12

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Lock your doors as soon as you’re in your car

kothecat , Paul Kehrer Report

Francis
Community Member
1 year ago

but check the back seats first!

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#13

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Always ask for only one scoop of ice cream first because they make single scoops bigger, then act like you changed your mind and ask for a second scoop. They will be pressured to match the size of the first scoop, providing you with a massive amount of ice cream.

gustavoramosart , Clive Varley Report

Some Cool Guy
Community Member
1 year ago

Now ice cream tips I can really get behind!

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#14

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Never flash your whole wad of cash in a public place while paying for something. Keep a few bucks loose in one pocket for spending. Keep the majority of your cash in a separate pocket. Don’t open a wallet full of all your money where other people can see you.

MrsDoctorSea , Paul Sableman Report

Bear Hall
Community Member
1 year ago

What do I do if I don't have money?

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#15

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Wear shoes you can run the f**k away in.

Crocutaborealis , giasco Report

Otter
Community Member
1 year ago

Choose your shoes VERY carefully for travel! One pair that looks good but which you can still walk a long way in, another that are good for being on your feet for about 16 hours.

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#16

Carry a fork with you. if someone approaches you, say “lord, thank you for this meal I’m about to have” and charge at them with the fork

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Kat
Community Member
1 year ago

I used to always carry a spoon with me, so in case someone would say "There is no spoon", I would be able to conjure it up ...

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#17

If you are walking alone at night and you feel like you’re being watched/followed. Start talking to yourself.. loudly about crazy shit. Make it a conversation even.

Omg did you SEE her dress?

That dress was so crazy long. Like how could she walk? Let alone walk in that grocery store!!

And those cheap plastic shoes!!

I own those cheap plastic shoes!! Are you saying I’m Cheap!!

If the cheap plastic shoe fits honey!

I’ll admit to doing this. I used to work graveyard shifts and you gotta be aware. Most people no matter how bad try to avoid crazy. Crazy will hurt you back.

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RMA
Community Member
1 year ago

They also may think you are on the phone.

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#18

If you are forced to walk through a bad/dangerous neighborhood, keep your chin up and maintain a confident and comfortable look on your face.

Nothing screams “abuse me!” more than an out-of-place person waking around with their chin down, looking at the sidewalk.

I learned this after visiting a new girlfriend many years ago in a bad section of Philly. I was walking down the street towards her house and a local female walking by my said, “keep that chin up around here, white boy.” The more I considered that advice, the more logical it sounded.

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Lyna Kader
Community Member
1 year ago

Woman. Or better yet, local resident.

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#19

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Eye contact. A lone assailant will often use the element of surprise to their advantage. If you’re walking alone and someone is following you, make eye contact to let them know that you are aware of them. This will often dissuade them from attacking.

This tactic has worked for me in the past.

MildlyobsessedwithSB , zoetnet Report

Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
1 year ago

And guy, if you're walking behind a woman on an otherwise empty street, please be so kind and cross the street to make her feel less stalked. I know you weren't, but she doesn't know that. Thank you.

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#20

This reminds me of a comedian who was saying the best way to stay safe in a rough neighborhood is to fake a Russian accent cause Russians are terrifying.

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Becky Samuel
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

My husband's Northern Irish accent also works well in a pinch.

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#21

Let's say a kidnapper throws you in the back of a trunk. Don't panic! Once you get your bearings, find the carpet that covers the taillight. Peel back the carpet, make a fist, punch the taillight out the back of the car, thus creating a hole in the back of the automobile, then stick your little hand out and wave to oncoming motorists to let them know that something hinky is goin' on.

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RMA
Community Member
1 year ago

If you can’t punch the light out, pull its wires out. There is a chance police will pull the car over for a failed signal.

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#22

Never post vacation information on social media until you’re back. You’ll most certainly get robbed at some point if you’re not smart about it.

Also, don’t put expensive product boxes (TV, computer, appliances) outside before trash day. People will see your new toys.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago

Don't post anything on social media that might be of use for criminals. People got robbed because they announced their wedding on social media. In the Netherlands a woman lost her rare vintage car because she posted a picture of that car on social media. Criminals used the EXIF data from that picture to pinpoint the car and they stole it.

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#23

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) If you're driving and hit black ice just take foot OFF GAS BUT DON'T BREAK until the slide stops.

AltheaInLove , komonews Report

Robert T
Community Member
1 year ago

* BRAKE - And when you're dealing with ice, do everything gently - don't just whip your foot off the accerator, remove it gently. Steer into the skid and try to keep the car pointing forwards so that when you can brake, you can do so in straight line.

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#24

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Don’t ever tell the cab driver you don’t know where you’re going.

H0T-S0UP , Andrew Smith Report

Lav Oravaf
Community Member
1 year ago

two different friends told me of their unpleasant stories. one in Moscow and one in Cuba. both got "kidnapped" by the taxi driver who picked up their friend, took them to a bad neighborhood ATM machine, where they had to get cash at gunpoint. Thankfully both were let go right after, unharmed.

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#25

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Before using any ATM, tug hard on the plastic card reader. Scammers often put a fake one on top that steals your info.

MrJuniperBreath , Nicolas Vigier Report

denzoren
Community Member
1 year ago

Oh yeah, I do this every time. We've got scammers here.

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#26

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Carry an extra wallet with $50 in it and throw it if someone tries to rob you. STREET SMARTS!

spacemanspiff66 , Bhaskar Pyakurel Report

Keri Miller
Community Member
1 year ago

no street smarts is putting a $5 in said wallet.

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#27

Don't tell even close friends the amount of money you have on you. I was set up by an 18 year old female coworker this week. She seemed like a sweetheart and was giving me rides to work for a few days. I asked on the Monday if we could go to bank as I needed to cash a check for roughly $4500. Minutes after dropping me near house I was robbed at gunpoint of everything by 2 guys. They knew how much they were looking for. The robber said he watched me leave bank but the police saw on camera near home that they had been waiting for me for an hour. One of the robbers was her ex/current boyfriend it turns out.

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Keerthi Vardhan
Community Member
1 year ago

So, what happened next.? Caught ?

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#28

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Do not trust taxi drivers if you are a tourist

silverguy23 , Michael Coghlan Report

Sasy
Community Member
1 year ago

In some countries maybe...there are plenty of countries that there is no reason for a cab driver to be anything but a driver doing their job .

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#29

Everyone respects true crazy. I once was approached in downtown by a man asking for all my money. I looked him square in the eyes and blurted out something like "blahblubvlahhhhhh". He walked away and I kept my monies.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago

Or do as the famous Charles Bronson did when someone try to rob him: He looked straight in the eyes of the robber and said: "No, YOU give me YOUR money." The robber ran away without any money.

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#30

This is a niche tip, but if you ever suspect something to have an electric current, do not touch it with the palm side of your hand. It can cause your muscles to contract and not let go. Always use the backside of your hand or even better, use a blade of grass or something not too conductive.

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Scagsy
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Or don't touch it at all. Who goes around touching live objects anyway?

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#31

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Look up and notice if street lights have been shot out or smashed.

If so, avoid those areas at night - there's a reason they've been disabled . . .

Back2Bach , Natalia Medd Report

Sasha Kuleshov
Community Member
1 year ago

This is not true, it has been proven that well lighted areas are more prone to robberies (as criminals can't see in the dark X3).

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#32

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) You won’t get mugged if you look like you’re going to mug someone.

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Katie Lutesinger
Community Member
1 year ago

Mental note: invest in a balaclava and a switchblade. Practise scowling in the mirror.

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#33

Buy a daily moisturizer with sunscreen in it.

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troufaki13
Community Member
1 year ago

Always wear sunscreen. Even in the winter

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#34

Nobody approaches you on the street because they want to do something for you. It's always because they want something from you.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago

Not always true, I've been approached by very kind women who wanted to blow up my car tyres, although I didn't even notice that they were flat.

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#35

The only people who ever truly "win" fights are those who successfully avoid them.

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J. F.
Community Member
1 year ago

The people that truly win a fight - if it's not avoidable - are those that can get the opponent in a state that makes it impossible to strike back. When being attacked make sure the first strike is enough to end said fight

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#36

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) When it comes to knife fights: The loser dies in the street; the winner dies in the hospital.

rd1970 , shay sowden Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago

The best tactic in a knife fight is to run away. Your pride may get hurt, but that isn't as bad as bleeding out in the middle of the road.

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#37

Don't fuck with that dude with cauliflower ears. He can take more and harder hits than you think.

Get those stickers off your car identifying you as a female. ("Girls just wanna have FuNe!"). It makes you a target.

If you live in an urban area with high transient population, regularly check locked gates and rare use access points. Look for things like small pieces of tape on locks. You are being target and tested for for access to your home that you do not regularly use.

Carry two wallets. One is a honeypot, you hand over if getting robbed. The other is you real wallet. (Pro tip: put a little cash and expired credit cards in the honeypot. This will help it look more real.)

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LesAnimaux
Community Member
1 year ago

I drive a hot pink car, not sure if a bumper sticker makes much of a difference

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#38

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) If you’re going to be away on holiday or somewhere you’re unfamiliar with for any length of time, it’s a good idea to try to always make sure that someone knows roughly where you’re going to be and what you’re going to be doing on a given day. Even if you’re like me and you don’t like to plan out a full itinerary, a rough indication of what your plans might be can help work out your movements if ever there is an issue.

lukemantel , Orin Zebest Report

lara
Community Member
1 year ago

A friend of mine who used to work for the CIA told me that if I am traveling somewhere that might be dangerous, I should leave an itinerary with a friend and family member and when I get to the country, drop off an itinerary at the embassy.

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#39

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) You should always be afraid of secondary locations

ShinyNinja25 , Jaume Escofet Report

NsG
Community Member
1 year ago

Clarification and context, please?

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#40

People With 'Street Smarts' Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips) Always know where the exits are in any place that you enter so that you don’t get lost in an emergency.

Also, never place yourself in a “hole” in public where there is only one entrance and exit and no other people around. These are often crime hotspots

StefanFaniePetrus , Ricardo Bernardo Report

Alexia
Community Member
1 year ago

Yep. Also, if you notice something is wrong - i.e. beginning of a fire, smoke, unusual smell - don't wait to see what happened. It could be nothing, but it could also be an emergency. Just run out of there. It might seem obvious, but I know people who got severely injured this way.

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