Bad safety habits can be seductive. There can be advantages to these bad safety habits, and 99 percent of the time, the keepers of these bad safety habits might be only rewarded. For example, motorists can save money by buying cheap gas at gas stations located in dangerous neighborhoods of cities.
Another example might be working late to impress supervisors. Lone employees who are in office buildings and later in parking lots after dark are practicing bad safety habits that have only positive career payoffs most of the time.
Yet another example would be waiting until car gas tanks are almost empty. Such motorists will have to take the time to stop at gas stations about half as much as the motorists who fill up their gas tanks when they are only half empty.
Thus, the keepers of these bad habits experience money and time rewards, but usually no encounters with criminals. The more bad safety habits people have, however, and the longer they practice these bad safety habits, the greater the odds are that eventually they will become the victims of criminals.
Denial is the cause of many bad safety habits. Those people in denial believe that crime happens only to other people. They do not immediately lock their doors upon entering their cars or houses. They do not believe that their poorly maintained cars will break down in dangerous neighborhoods of their cities. As they enter their apartment elevators while reading their mail, they do not believe that there could be dangerous criminals on their elevators that they should avoid by not entering the elevators. Most of the time, they are right. Most of the time, crime happens to other people.
It only takes one encounter with crime, however, for victims’ lives to be snuffed out or to be changed forever for the worse. Even if no physical trauma occurs, the emotional trauma of crime victims can be so extensive that they change from mental attitudes of denial to mental attitudes of paranoia. Somewhere between those two extremes is the best mental attitude to have.
Safety habits, once they are established, can become automatic and effortless. They will not make people immune from crime, but they will greatly lessen the odds of becoming crime victims.
What bad safety habits have you noticed? Please comment below.