This post was first written on January 2013 on our blog Hertfordshire Personal Safety, but given the time of year I thought it would be good to re-post. Watch where you step when taking festive cheer. Watch out behind you… I have been thinking about a suitable post for this blog for a while and last week I was having a conversation with a student, who shall remain nameless, about a incident that occured to him whilst out drinking with some friends. I am sure he won’t mind me telling this story as it is a powerful lesson for all. The story starts innocently enough with a group of guys out on the town having a few drinks after work, “to cut a long story short” the group became involved in an argument over, yep you guessed it a woman! There was a verbal exchange and the argument spilled out onto the street with some pushing and shoving. Our student did just what he was taught in our Self Defence classes, to move away with his open hands up in front of him telling the people that he “didn’t want any trouble”. Unfortunately, whilst moving backwards he forgot to check his surroundings and moved into the road and was consequently struck by a taxi. Whilst it was only a glancing blow and doubtless the alcholol prevented any major injuries it did bring home to him the importance of being aware of your surroundings. If ever you find yourself in a similar situation always make sure that you are aware of what is around you, trip hazards, other people, holes in the road, taxis can all impede your ability to move away from an altercation. Just think about the amount of public furniture in our streets today, (public furniture is a posh way of saying benches, litter bins, bike racks, taxi ranks (ahem), bus stops etc). Watch out!!