In our last blog post, we covered how you can enhance your situational awareness skills. Through practice, you can keep you safe from getting into a dangerous situation before it even begins. But developing these skills, like concealing and carrying a firearm, isn’t without its challenges.
Modern life is seemingly busier than it ever has been, and that means it’s full of distractions. These can easily disrupt your situational awareness. But being aware of these disruptions can help you focus in and look past them. Join On Your 6 Designs as well look at some of the most common disruptions for situational awareness.
Why You Need to Focus on Situational Awareness
Situational awareness isn’t something that you can just switch on or off. It’s a skill that you need to be cognizant of. It’s something you have to warm up into, but also a skill that can easily be shut down by distractions. Working past or being aware of these distractions can help to keep you safe.
Electronics Are Disruption #1
We all love our smartphones and other devices, but we all recognize that they are a great way to distract yourself from what’s going on around you. A recent study found that, on average, Americans check their phone 80 times a day. That’s 80 times that your focus on your surroundings is disrupted. While you might only glance at your phone for the time, other moments you might be watching an entire video or writing a small novel in text message form.
We’re not trying to discourage you from using your phone, instead, we’re encouraging you to use your phone more mindfully. When you’re waiting in a new area for a friend to arrive, don’t do so with your head hunched over your phone. Use your phone when you’re in safe, familiar settings.
Alcohol Dulls Your Senses
Before we go too far, it’s important to remind everyone that alcohol and firearms do not mix. If you’re planning on enjoying an adult beverage after work with friends, it’s best to leave your concealed firearm in your car, and in many states, it’s illegal for you to bring a weapon into a bar with you anyway.
That said, alcohol is a natural depressant. That means that it limits your ability to be fully aware of what’s going on around you. You’ll miss cues that you might otherwise pick up on, and your reaction times will be slowed. The best way to combat this is the same way you get home safe at the end of the night. A designated driver can also serve as the designated guardian for the night. They’re in charge of monitoring your drinking, and your evening out.
How You’re Positioned In a Space
The architecture and layout of a space can limit your situational awareness. Features like columns, walls, panes of glass, and more can all interrupt your lines of sight into and out of a space. This can make it difficult to make an accurate assessment of the safety of the environment.
When possible, choose to sit facing an entrance or exit so you can monitor and react to the people moving through the space.
Don’t Get Lazy
Perhaps more disruptive to your situational awareness than phones, alcohol, or architecture is yourself. These are perishable skills, meaning if you stop practicing them, you lose them. You should never assume a place is “safe” just because you think it is. Confirm your assumptions by looking for, and measuring the environment around you.
Carrying a firearm doesn’t make you automatically safe. In fact, having to use that firearm inherently means you are not safe. You don’t want to find yourself in a high stakes situation just because you willfully ignored a red flag, or you didn’t notice it in the first place.
Like the firearm you carry concealed, situational awareness is an invaluable self-defense tool. When practiced carefully and regularly, situational awareness will begin to feel more natural. When you look past distractions and disruptions, you keep yourself and your loved ones safer.
On Your 6 Designs produces Kydex firearm and magazine holsters, hand-formed to fit your particular model of firearm. Browse our collection today to find one that fits your concealed carry needs.