Freeze and obey are the most common, natural human reactions that kick in when you are confronted with a dangerous situation, but also the wrong ones that can get you hurt. That is why when you find yourself in a life-threatening situation, the important and correct decisions must be made quickly. Here are 20 useful tips that might save your life, via AskReddit.

Useful Tips That Might Save Your Life
Photo by Heather Ford
  1. Always be aware of your surroundings. You’re more likely to be attacked in a transitional space. Going into and out of buildings, cars, and especially between the two. You let your guard down because you’re thinking about what you’re going to do when you get there, not what you’re doing right now and not what’s going on around you. Stay alert, stay safe.
  2. If you need to break open a car window using a tool do NOT hit the middle, hit one of the corners. The middle of he window is reinforced to prevent it from being broken. And remember that, if you’re ever in a situation where you’d like to break the glass but don’t have a hammer, remove your headrest from the seat and use the metal prongs.
  3. If you’re in a crowd and there’s a possibility of a human crush, go with the waves of people instead of against it and, when possible, go backwards and diagonally.
Tips That Might Save Your Life
Photo Sarah Cervantes

4. If you’re hiking/doing anything else outdoors alone, tell someone where you’re going and when you should be back. If you become incapacitated, this will increase survival chances by a lot.

5. If you’ve been stabbed, leave the sharp object in the wound until it can be treated by a professional. Sometimes the knife/stick/whatever is the only thing sealing the wound so you don’t bleed out. On a similar note, if you for some reason get stabbed in the eye with a stick, cover both eyes. Moving your injured eye can cause more damage, and it’s impossible to move your eyes independently- and if they aren’t covered you’ll instinctively look around with the uninjured one.

6. If a dog is going to attack you do not run. You are smart, you have two arms two legs and a mouth. A dog only has a mouth. You can defend yourself. Believe in yourself.

Useful Tips That Might Save Your Life
Photo Diao Darius

7. If you crash your car into water, find a sharp object. Attempting to open the door is fruitless until the pressure equalizes. Break the window glass and swim out that way. The metal part of a removed headrest can be used to break windows in this situation. Another best thing to do that most people dont think of is to just role down the window and then open the door. Even is the car is submerged, the power normally continues to work for a while.

8. DO NOT jump in the water to save a drowning person unless absolutely necessary i.e. a child etc. Drowning people tend to clasp on their rescuers and drag them under with them. Find something to throw or a some sort of lifeline. If a drowning person does grab on, they will essentially try to climb you like a ladder or push you under to get the leverage to get some air. It’s instinctive at that point and impossible to override. If you’re being pushed under, just swim down out of their grasp, come up a little ways a way, and try to reapproach.

9. If you ever get kidnapped and are in the kidnappers vehicle, wait until you are around a lot of traffic and pull the steering wheel to make the car crash. People will immediately go to see if you are okay and call emergency vehicles. You’re going to be injured or killed whether you cause an accident or go to the second location anyways. Might as well pull attention to yourself.

Useful Tips That Might Save Your Life
Photo by Johnson Wang

10. If you drop a loaded gun, DO NOT try to catch it. Let it fall. Trying to catch it makes it easier to accidentally pull the trigger.

11. Have a glass breaker/seatbelt cutter in your car. A lot of knives come with both on them and can be as cheap as $15-$20. Better to have something you don’t need than to need something you don’t have.

12. If a police officer tries to pull you over in a dark isolated area, don’t stop until you reach a public place. People pretending to be police to rob or kidnap people is a real thing.

13. The most important thing you can ever do in a potentially life threatening situation is breathe (when possible) and focus on doing things, calmly.

Useful Tips That Might Save Your Life
photo by Maddi Bazzocco

14. If you believe someone is in your home, what ever you do, don’t turn on the lights. As much as you’d feel more comforted if the lights were on, you know your house better than anyone. You would have an easy time moving around your house while the intruder would be a lot slower.

15. If you’re lost in the woods, don’t leave your location. People searching for you will start at your last known location/heading, and you’ll just make their job harder by expanding the search area. If you must leave, follow water. Early cities/towns were usually founded near a source of water, if you follow a stream you’re more likely to run into civilization… Usually downstream, but really depends where you are.

16. If someone grabs you by the throat from behind, don’t try to pull away. Lean backwards into the attacker instead to throw them off-balance, and jab them in the stomach/wherever you can with your elbow as you do it.

17. If somebody threatens to kill you if you don’t get in a car, do not get in the car! If they aren’t killing you on the spot, it’s because killing you where you currently are is less than ideal for them, potentially even un-ideal enough for them to decide killing you without a plan in place isn’t worth the risk.

18. If you’re ever in a potential life or death situation involving another person, don’t be afraid to fight dirty.

19. Don’t leave your drinks unattended at the bar.

20. Learn basic first aid. It could save you and or someone else and at least give you the best chance till you get proper medical attention.


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