Walking is an endeavor that almost anyone can enjoy. Unlike other pastimes and forms of exercise that require special training or equipment, walking is the great leveler.
There is no lifeguard to keep a watchful eye on walkers, so you have to take responsibility for your safety. In a battle between a pedestrian and a car, the pedestrian will always lose. You as a walker need to pay attention to the cars around you, because they are most likely not going to be paying attention to you.
There are a number of simple things that you can do to protect your safety. Here are some simple tips for walking near cars:
- Walk on the sidewalk. Don’t walk in bike paths, bikers will be watching out for cars not pedestrians.
- Walk facing traffic
- Dress in brightly colored clothing, wear reflective tape on your clothes or better yet wear a reflective safety vest. This is particularly important when it starts getting dark early and walkers encounter drivers in a rush to get home from work.
- Cross the street at corners, lights or in crosswalks.
- Be aware of cars making turns, they are looking out for other cars, not walkers
- Keep your cell phone handy for use in an emergency. Program an In Case of Emergency (ICE) number into your phone. In the unlikely event that you run into a problem, this will let people coming to your aid know whom to call. At the very least carry personal identification.
- Make sure that parked cars are parked and not just stopped
- Carry a flashlight
One of the benefits of walking over jogging is that you have the time to notice your surroundings. You will notice what flowers are in bloom and which trees have leaves that are changing colors. Make sure that cars are one of the things in your surroundings that you pay attention to.