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NYC Safety Tips

Vehicles traveling on a New York City avenue

Even with its population of more than eight million people, New York City consistently ranks among the country’s top ten safest large cities (cities with more than 500,000 people). Believe it or not, its violent crime rate is lower than that of Wichita, Kansas, Portland, Oregon, or Anchorage, Alaska.

Whether you are living in New York City or just visiting, some street smarts and good common sense will go a long way. These tips can help you enjoy daily life in the greatest city in the world.

  • Always pay attention to your surroundings.
  • On crowded subways, keep your wallet in your front pocket, rather than the rear, and keep your purse closed and hold onto it in front of you or on your side.
  • Don't flaunt jewelry, cameras or cash in public. If you need to organize your wallet, step into a store.
  • Use caution when using ATMs and don't carry too much cash with you. Most places accept credit cards and there are ATMs everywhere.
  • If you feel uncomfortable or get lost, approach a police officer or go into a store to get your bearings or directions.
  • When in doubt about the exact location of your destination, or the safety of a neighborhood, take a cab, especially late at night. Many business districts are desolate at night. Keep this in mind when deciding whether to walk or take a cab.
  • Make sure to use only licensed yellow taxi cabs.
  • If taking the subway late at night, stand near the "During off hours trains stop here" sign or in view of a manned fare booth. Try to ride in cars with plenty of people (the conductor's car is generally your best bet – it is in the middle and you will see him/her in the window of the train when it stops).
  • When crossing the street, stay on the curb until the light changes and you have the right of way. Cross only at corners. Don't cross in the middle of the block and look out for cars making turns even when you have the right of way.
  • As dusk approaches, a new set of rules applies. You need to be a bit more cautious, but don't be afraid - New York City is fascinating and beautiful at night. Try and stay away from quiet side streets - especially in business areas where everything is closed. After dark, stick to main/busy streets whenever you can.

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