The smallest state in the country is Rhode Island…
It is a true delight to visit.
Made up of only 5 counties, this state embraces coastal living, and still maintains a dense population.
Because of its history, location, and well-known hospitality, Rhode Island is a place that many like to visit regularly.
Before you begin your trip, however, there are a few things to keep in mind safety-wise so that you have the best trip possible.
Warnings & Dangers in Rhode Island
OVERALL RISK: LOW
The overall risk grade for traveling to Rhode Island is low. When you visit Rhode Island you can expect an overall safe trip, especially when traveling through the warmer parts of the year. There are some concerns with congested areas in the state and also traveling on the unkept roads, but the risk is still pretty minimal.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
The risk for crimes with transport and taxis in Rhode Island is overall low. Public transportation for residents and visitors is available through RIPTA, the public transit authority in the state, and it is managed efficiently to make sure that riders are following the rules and maintaining a safe and transportable system through the service. Taxis and rideshare systems are also available for those traveling and have minimal risks reported annually.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
In terms of the entire state, you have a low chance of pickpockets. The only areas where this happens the most are in heavily trafficked areas and tourist locations like Newport Beach. If you are staying in an area that is heavily congested for the duration of your trip, then your risk will increase to medium.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
When it comes to natural disasters, you have a medium safety risk simply because of the state's location. Just off the Eastern Seaboard, there is a chance during hurricane season for one to move up the coast and attack the state. Also, there are fault lines in the state, making earthquakes possible. The most common natural disasters that Rhode Island faces regularly, however, are excessive heat and flooding.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Your chances of a mugging happening while on your visit to Rhode Island is low. While there is some crime, and it is not impossible, most crimes that do take place are non-violent. You have a higher chance of being the victim of a pickpocket incident than a mugging.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
The chances of a terrorist risk are medium specifically due to the population density. While it is a small state, there are a lot of people populated together, making the effects of an attack larger than a more rural state like Montana.
SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM
When it comes to travelers looking for deals and great rates on experiences, the scam risk is a medium. Some folks will pose as travel or entertainment agents, offering deals and experiences with fraudulent tickets and documents, putting you out of your money and destroying your trip.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
For women who are traveling alone or as a group in Rhode Island, your safety risk is low. This does not mean that no risk is out there, as women, it is still important to have situational awareness when traveling at night and out walking.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The tap water risk in Rhode Island is low thanks to frequent testing. What Rhode Island lacks in its infrastructure, they make up for when it comes to testing the tap water and having enough clean water for guests and residents alike. At any time a test comes back with alarming percentages, advisories will be posted for residents and travelers alike.
Safest Places to Visit in Rhode Island
If you are traveling to Rhode Island for the hospitality, food, and views that come with coastal living, the following places are the safest when traveling.
- North Providence
These towns have some of the lowest crime rates in the state.
To be fair, crime in Rhode Island is significantly lower than in most states in the United States.
These areas, however, have very minimal crime, with the top ones being at around 60 percent below the average city crime rate in the US.
Places to Avoid in Rhode Island
The areas that you want to avoid in Rhode Island aren’t necessarily towns and cities.
Certain areas, in general, could compromise your safety below:
- Scarborough Beach Traffic
- Snowy Roads and too much driving in general
- Newport Downtown
It is no secret that Rhode Island isn’t in the lead for the best road care, so travelers and locals alike experience lots of potholes and poor road conditions.
This could cause unwanted accidents and traffic jams that could impact your safety.
If you happen to be visiting during winter, Rhode Island does see snow each year, so on top of the already poor conditions in the road, adding snow to the mix can make for dangerous travel when you are visiting the area.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Rhode Island
Keep the following safety tips in mind when you head off to Rhode Island.
- The roads are poor. It is no secret that Rhode Island needs a little help on the roads in all the major cities. Those who live there experience it in daily traffic and the colder parts of the month when the ice and snow take residence on the road. Make sure you drive slow and prepare for the potholes found everywhere.
- Prepare for traffic. Although it is a small state, there are still a lot of folks traveling and living in the area. The traffic can get thick when it is warm along the beaches. You want to stay calm and prepare yourself to drive defensively against others who may express road rage or impatience with the traffic.
- Avoid traveling in the winter. Being on the coast, but in the Northeastern region, Rhode Island will get lots of winterly moisture and weather starting in November through March. To be safe, make sure you are not traveling during this time of year so that you can avoid highway accidents or find yourself without power.
- Check the hurricane forecast before you head out. If you are traveling to Rhode Island from June to November, you want to take a look at the National Hurricane Center’s radar and make sure that no active storms will be heading in that direction during your trip.
- Notify your bank and credit cards that you are traveling. Before you leave for your trip, alert any bank or credit card company that you may use that you are traveling, and where you will be. You do not want to get yourself stranded without any money because your accounts have been frozen. Giving them a notice will keep them from freezing your accounts, giving you money when you need it.
- Avoid ATMs if possible. If you did not get enough cash to take with you on your trip, you will want to try to get cash back at stores when making purchases so that you are indoors and safe. If the banks are open, choose to go in for your withdrawal or cash advance through your credit card company. If you have to use an ATM that is out in the open, you want to choose one that is well-lit and use it during the day when you can see all of your surroundings.
- Pack your money in two places. If you are traveling with cash, you should make sure that you have money hidden away inside a money belt in your clothes, a hidden pocket on your jacket, or secured down in your socks below your feet. In case you are pickpocketed or have a bag stolen, you will have something to depend on until you can recover or cancel your cards.
- Avoid distractions and random people approaching. If you are not seeking out their services, and you are approached, it is best to keep moving in the direction of others and get away as soon as you can. If you stay behind too long or become distracted, you could become the victim of scamming, mugging, or other crimes that will adversely impact your trip.
- No texting and walking. If you are using your phone when walking in a new area, you appear as someone who is easily distracted and could be a target. Also, you could put yourself in physical harm by walking out into highways and areas where there is traffic. Put your phone away until you get to your destination.
- Do not travel with valuables. If you are out walking around Rhode Island with expensive jewelry or other high-value items, you could find yourself a target. Keep yourself and your belongings safe by traveling with only the items you need.
So... How Safe Is Rhode Island Really?
In reality, Rhode Island is a relatively safe state to visit.
Like all major cities with congestion, they do have a crime potential when you are in certain areas, but the rate is significantly lower than what other neighboring states experience.
Making sure you are traveling in well-lit areas at night and paying attention to traffic and others while on the road during the day should keep you safe and able to enjoy your time in Rhode Island.
How Does Rhode Island Compare?
- Visas - For those traveling domestically to Rhode Island, there is no need for a visa if you are a citizen. However, if you are traveling internationally to the state, make sure that you have your Passport present first and then file for the appropriate visa if you have an extended stay.
- Currency - The currency that is used in Rhode Island is the US Dollar. You can use cash, check, or all major credit cards in most places for purchases.
- Weather - Being a coastal state, the weather often has wind and humidity throughout the year whether it is warm or cold. When it is warm, the heat can be extensive, causing heat waves through the summer. The winter months stay just as wet, but the weather can be very cold, with lots of snow and ice found throughout the state.
- Airports - When you travel into Rhode Island, there are five airports available: • Newport Airport • Westerly Airport • Block Island State Airport • Groton-New London Airport • T. F. Green Airport These airports have different functions, but most of the larger flights that are connected domestically fly into T.F. Green Airport. Newport Airport does also take in smaller charter flights sometimes from larger airports in the region.
- Travel Insurance - Considering the different weather conditions that can arise at any time in Rhode Island, it is always a good practice to secure travel insurance before you leave for your trip. Too many visitors in the past have planned to travel when the state was struck with a natural disaster that prevented them from getting in. You will not be out of your investment in the trip when you secure travel insurance.
Rhode Island Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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Rhode Island - Safety by City