If you live in a large city, it makes sense that you’ll face some different perils than if you live in a more rural setting. Both lifestyles have distinct dangers, and you need to know about them and watch out for them. If you don’t, you risk monetary losses, trauma, injury, or even death.
Let’s take a moment to talk about six of the more prominent big-city dangers. If you live in a major metropolis, watch out for these as you make your way through your day-to-day life.
Reckless drivers in the city are one thing for which urban residents need to watch out. Reckless driving is a pretty big category.
For instance, police officers usually consider speeding to be reckless driving. Speeding accounts for 26% of all traffic-related fatalities, so you need to watch out for all those speed demons out there, particularly if you’re a pedestrian.
Some drivers try to text or talk on their smartphones while they drive. Others use Bluetooth, which is marginally safer since they have both hands on the wheel, but a Bluetooth call can still distract them. Others might speak to their passengers while they drive, or they could allow a billboard to distract them.
Any of those activities can be disastrous for you, whether you’re driving, a passenger in another car, or you’re a pedestrian. Try to keep an eye on the traffic around you as you head to and from work, to the store, or anywhere else you’re going.
Many cities have burglary problems. A burglar could sneak up a fire escape and enter an apartment through an unlocked window. They also might jimmy a window open.
They might enter a building by posing as a delivery person. They may sneak in behind someone by catching the front door before it closes. They’ll then look for unlocked apartment doors, or they’ll try to force a door open or pick a lock.
If you reside in an apartment, you can try to get one in a secure building. If your building has a guard or a lobby attendant, that is a significant crime deterrent. If you can’t get a space in a guarded building, you should at least try to find an apartment that has a heavy, locking front door with multiple deadbolts on it.
Robbery is similar to burglary, except a robber might stop you on the street and use a weapon to threaten you. Part of staying away from robbers is avoiding walking around unsafe areas at night.
Try to stick to well-lit streets. If you’re going to be in darker or more dangerous-looking areas, try to travel in a group. Robbers often feel reluctant to target larger parties.
You can also ask your boss not to put you on the late shift if that’s possible. Robberies often take place at night, when the perpetrator can use darkness as cover. Few robbers will accost you in broad daylight, so if you can be safely home and off the street by then, it makes this issue less likely.
Sexual assaults sometimes occur in the big city as well. Individuals who perpetrate these crimes can target anyone, but they often target women, as well as LGBTQ community members.
Try to locate an apartment as close to a subway or other transportation method as possible. That way, you won’t have to walk long distances through your neighborhood, particularly at night.
Attempt to avoid walking at night by yourself. Much like with robberies, sexual assaults take place more often at night when darkness is a factor.
You can also carry a weapon. You might carry a knife, a can of mace, or anything else that makes you feel more secure. Keep an eye out at all times to see who is around you, and avoid walking down alleys or taking shortcuts where you are out of the public eye.
Identity theft is another possible crime you might run into in the big city. There are ways to avoid it, and you certainly want to. If someone steals your identity, it can mean major headaches for you.
You can watch out for skimmers on ATMs. If you see any device on an ATM that looks like it shouldn’t be there, don’t use it. It helps to only use ATMs that belong to your bank and aren’t on street corners in sketchy areas.
You can also avoid using public Wi-Fi. If you use your smartphone to check your bank account when you’re in a library or coffee shop, that’s asking for trouble. Those are generally not secure connections, and you never know when someone might steal your login data that way.
You should also never throw away documents that have your personal information on them, such as your full name, social security number, bank account numbers, etc. You can shred any such documents before you throw them away. Someone can take your trash and steal your identity that way, and tearing up or shredding any documents will prevent that from happening.
Asbestos, Mold, and Other Contaminants
If you live in an apartment, you should also check for mold, asbestos, lead paint, or any other harmful contaminants before you move in. Some landlords are little better than slum lords. They will charge you as much as possible, and they will fail to warn you about hazardous conditions.
If you do find mold, or you suspect there’s lead paint layers or asbestos on the premises, you can contact the authorities. There’s no reason you should have to live that way. Living with mold or lead paint can harm you or your children, and the longer you live with it and breathe it in, the worse it will be for you.
Don’t let these dangers dissuade you from city living. There are always great things about living in larger cities as well, but you need to watch out for hazards and take steps to avoid them.