Whether you walk to work, are walking to a local grocery store or are taking a run to get out of the house for a bit of exercise and fresh air, walking and running are eco-friendly and healthy ways to get around town. Running and walking, though, can also put your safety at risk.
With pedestrian deaths at a 30-year high, it is easy to see that sharing the road with motor vehicles could be dangerous to you. However, there are ways to keep yourself safe while walking or running.
Many accidents happen simply because pedestrians are not seen by drivers, and you can take steps to make yourself more visible to passing cars and trucks. This can include wearing brighter colors, staying in well-lit areas and standing away from visual obstructions when preparing to cross a street.
While many people run with headphones or walk while using their cell phones, this could leave them open to danger. Eliminating distractions while walking or running will allow you to see and hear hazards like cars backing out of driveways, turning vehicles at intersections and tripping hazards in the crosswalk.
Run or walk against traffic so you can see vehicles coming.
If you cannot walk or run on a sidewalk, it is especially important that you face oncoming traffic. The Road Runners Club of America recommends this because it allows you to see hazards and react quickly to them, keeping yourself safe in the process.
Look both ways.
You may have learned in elementary school to look both ways before crossing a street, and this advice still holds true today. Check crosswalk lights, look at both lanes of traffic, and look for any cars making a right turn before stepping into the road. Carefully examining your surroundings can help you see a vehicle before it endangers you and keep yourself safe in the process.