There is a phenomenon spreading across the country. It is called “The Knock Out Game”. Basically roving bands of teens sucker punching random strangers in an attempt to knock them out. This has caused serious injuries and even death for some victims.
Situational awareness is always smart, and now, it is crucial. Your safety circle, the 21 foot radius (about 2 car lengths) around you, is your buffer. No one passed through your circle without you taking notice. 21 feet is based on the well known training technique called the Tueller drill. A reasonably fit person can close that gap in about 2 seconds. That doesn’t give you much time to react, but if you are aware, you won’t be caught by surprise. Most people will pass through your safety circle and go on their way. With practice, you can get a sense of who is moving through and who might be a danger.
This does require YOU to be aware. Not texting, talking on the cell phone, rocking out with earbuds…you safety depends on being aware of your surroundings. Keep your head up, scan your surroundings and be alert to possible danger so you can respond and avoid the situation, or, if needed, protect yourself. But remember, the best fight is the one avoided.