It's a great time to walk outdoors isn't it? Especially at this time of the year. For sure, it is, but not without keeping safety for yourself, your friends and family in mind.
Did you know that pedestrian deaths increased by 10% in 2015? Older walkers were the highest rate of pedestrians struck and killed during walking.
The death rate for walkers over 70 years of age is 1.5 times the rate of younger walkers- only part of that is due to the fragility of the individual.
Our interest in aging in place and living in walkable communities comes with a responsibility to be alert at all times. With drivers texting, using their cell phones or being otherwise distracted, it's imperative that walkers (and road bikers, too) maintain a keen eye on traffic, understand the rules of the road and expect a car to appear "out of nowhere".
Here are some tips from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (www.pedbikeinfo.org/)
Be Safe and Be Seen: Make yourself visible to drivers
Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
Cross the street in a well-lit area at night.
Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars, or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.
Be certain you cross at official crosswalks, and not jaywalk.
Be Careful at Crossings: Look before you step
Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible.
Obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON'T WALK signs.
Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street.
Watch for turning vehicles. Make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
Look across ALL lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Even if one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
Don't wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.
Paying attention to these tips will help keep you walking safely and happily throughout the season. Don't like walking outdoors? Message me for fantastic indoor walking options. Linda@FitTraining.net