Walking is a great way to get some exercise and travel short distances in an environmentally friendly way, but before you begin your next walk, you should be aware of some potential hazards and brush up on some pedestrian safety tips so you can avoid getting hit by a vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,376 pedestrians were killed in accidents in 2015. With a shocking statistic like this, it is crucial to understand the risks you face while walking and take preventative measures to stay safe. Learn useful tips on how to stay safe.
1. Increase visibility
Make sure drivers are able to see you at all times and make eye contact with them when you can. You can do this by wearing bright or reflective clothing and staying in lit areas. This is particularly important when walking at night because the NHTSA found that 26 percent of pedestrian deaths happen between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. You should also carry a flashlight when walking at night.
2. Walk in safe areas
Always avoid walking on highways or other areas where pedestrians are not allowed; walk on sidewalks and use crosswalks whenever they are available. Whenever you cross the road, make sure you wait for an adequate gap in traffic and make sure drivers see you before crossing.
3. Stay alert
Distractions are not only dangerous for motorists. You need your eyes, ears and mind to be free of distractions to stay safe. This is why you should avoid wearing headphones. Without your ability to clearly hear things going on around you, you may not be able to anticipate a dangerous event. You should also limit your phone use, especially when crossing the street or when you are unable to walk on a sidewalk.
You should always follow these three guidelines whenever you go out for a walk, whether it is a quick stroll around the block or an hour-long errand run.