In 2018, there were an estimated 748,841 thefts of motor vehicles nationwide and an estimated 1,206,836 violent crimes nationwide. Those estimates increased 9% and 4.7%, respectively, when compared to 2014 estimates. Violent crime such as robbery, aggravated assault, murder and rape can happen anywhere—whether you’re at home or on the road—and it’s just as important to feel safe behind the wheel of your car as it is sleeping in your own house. That’s why we put together this list of essential safety items that you can easily store in your vehicle and use at a moment’s notice.
One of the most popular self-defense weapons, pepper spray comes in many different sizes and forms. It even comes in a version small enough to fit right in your pocket! There are three types of pepper sprays: stream pattern, foam, and mist/spray. Stream pattern pepper sprays have an excellent range, but they won’t incapacitate an assailant because they can’t inhale it. Inhaling pepper spray inflames the mucous membrane, making it hard for an assailant to open their eyes or breathe. Foam pepper sprays have a shorter range than streams but are the least recommended as they’re more challenging to aim, don’t affect their breathing, and are slow to take effect. That’s why you should definitely invest in a mist or spray. They also have a shorter range but are most easily inhaled—giving you time to get away safely.
This is going to be your most effective weapon for close-quarters combat. It’s also the only one on this list that could potentially be lethal. Additionally, it’s one of the most versatile weapons you can carry as you can use it to cut a seatbelt or break a glass window. Make sure you choose a durable blade that’s strong and won’t break and become aware of your local ordinances on knives. Most states have laws against blades that are certain lengths and they regulate the use of switchblades versus folding knives. Be careful, though, because there is the possibility that an assailant could wrestle it away from you. Despite this, carrying a knife could definitely safe your life.
Stun Gun or Taser
Simple to use and incredibly effective, stun guns and tasers are excellent non-lethal self-defense tools and a great alternative to firearms. Now these are are not one and the same. Tasers are meant to be used from a distance as they have 15-ft wires with hooks that attach to an assailant’s skin or clothing and deliver a shock that lasts 30 seconds, giving you enough time to drop it and run to safety. Stun guns are also used to shock an assailant but can only be used in close quarters. However, they come in a variety of styles and sizes and can even be disguised as lipstick, flashlights, rings, pens, or even a cell phone.
While this might be the tiniest option on the list, do not underestimate its usefulness. A self-defense keychain is another super portable option that comes in many different forms. Blind an attacker with pepper spray, disable them with a stun gun, or use a cat ear keychain to gauge them—buying yourself enough time to get to safety. A cat ear keychain has incredibly sharp “ears” and “eyeholes” that you slip your fingers through. It’s strikingly similar to brass knuckles so these types of keychains typically aren’t legal in states where brass knuckles are illegal. Any of these options—along with knives or kubotans—are very easy to carry and keep concealed.
The most unsuspecting weapon on this list, the tactical pen is multi-purpose. While it can be used as an actual writing utensil, these pens are designed with self-defense in mind. Some of them have sharp points that you can jab into an assailant to injure them and buy yourself time to get away. Others are made of strong steel and can be used to deliver a harsh blow. While this isn’t the most ideal weapon, it’s an excellent backup or surprise attack as assailants often overlook them.
Personal Safety Alarm
This is the ideal option for anyone not comfortable carrying or using any sort of weapon. When activated, it will make a very loud sound that could either scare your attacker away or draw the attention of anyone near you. Make sure to throw is as far away as possible from you after activating it, though, because you don’t want your assailant to try to take it from you and silence it. The last thing they’ll want to do is stick around and draw more attention to themselves.
Here at Apex Security, we provide private security guards for Orlando workplaces, neighborhoods, shopping centers, hotels and more. Our team keeps watch 24-7, and we want to help keep you safe, whether you’re in your home, at work, or on the road. Contact us for more information on the ways our services can make you feel more secure.