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4 Important Things Situational Awareness Can Do for You

Situational awareness is a vital skill to have in ensuring the safety and well-being of yourself and others. Developing an awareness mindset may take time, but it is extremely important to build the discipline of constantly practicing situational awareness.

Prevent Auto Accidents

Many auto accidents seem to happen out of nowhere. But, if the dangers are recognized early, the vast majority of accidents can be avoided simply by slowing down or moving out of the way. Constantly being aware of your surroundings, including your distance from other cars, is key to preventing auto accidents. An accident can leave you with more than just serious injuries—many accident victims suffer emotional trauma and crushing financial pressure, too. These negative consequences can be avoided by working hard to establish a habit of situational awareness.

Read Social Situations

We know a lot about body language and what it can tell us about a person's attitude toward what is going on. However, knowledge of body language and how to read social signs will be unhelpful without situational awareness. Being aware of body language is the first step in interpreting it and using that knowledge to get the outcome you are looking for from the social interaction. Reading social situations is especially important when advocating for yourself, like in the case of a job interview, asking your boss for a raise, or in a dating situation. Situational awareness could be the key to helping you excel in these cases.

Improve Emergency Preparedness

When an emergency strikes, being able to get out of the situation quickly may be the difference between life and death. Having constant situational awareness can help ensure that you will be able to identify the quickest way out should disaster occur. In particular, consider potential fire escape routes from your building or any new buildings you enter. If you live in an earthquake zone, also identify safe spaces should an earthquake hit. Situational awareness can lead to recognizing an emergency situation before it happens and being able to get yourself out of the area before it's too late.

Avoid Violent Attacks

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, rates of violent crime are significantly down since 1993, but have started to tick up again since 2015. Situational awareness is the single most important way to recognize, avoid, and respond correctly to violence. Violent attacks happen most often in so-called "transitional spaces" such as parking lots, sidewalks, gas stations, or other locations between the places you're trying to be. Whenever you enter one of these transitional spaces, be aware of who and what is around you. Staying vigilant in this way can help you escape a dangerous situation. Ultimately, regardless of where you are, there are constant benefits to being aware of your surroundings. While this skill takes a while to develop, once situational awareness becomes second nature, the benefits will begin to become apparent.

Practicing martial arts is a great way to increase your situational awareness. Sign up for a free class today!

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