Walking is good for your health, and it's good for the environment too. But before you head out on foot for a stroll, power walk, or errand, there are important safety tips to remember. Below are tips and helpful reminders to make your walks both fun and safe.
- Leave word. Tell somebody or leave a note at home about where you plan to go and how long you plan to be out. That way your loved ones will know to look for you if needed.
- Identify yourself. Walk with proper ID, and carry a cell phone with emergency contacts visible.
- Don't wear headphones. Avoid using earbuds or wearing headphones—you need to be able to hear approaching vehicles and be aware of your surroundings.
- Use the sidewalk. If a sidewalk is available, walk on the sidewalk.
- Face traffic. It's easier to see, and react to oncoming cars. And cars will see you more clearly too.
- Make room. If traffic gets heavy, or the road narrows, be prepared to move onto the shoulder of the road.
- Be seen. Wear high-visibility, brightly colored clothing. When out near or after sunset, reflective materials are a must.
- Pretend you're invisible. Don't assume a driver sees you. In fact, imagine that a driver can't see you, and behave accordingly.
- Watch the hills. When they crest hills, drivers' vision can suddenly be impaired by factors like sun glare or backdrops.
- Beware of high-risk drivers. Steer clear of potential problem areas like entrances to parking lots, bars, and restaurants, where there may be heavy traffic.
This newsletter has been peer-reviewed.