Practice these helpful pedestrian safety tips on your next stroll through the neighborhood.
One of the best ways to stay healthy is to take a daily walk. And with warm summer weather, the outdoors is beckoning many people for a stroll around their neighborhoods. Whether you live in a high- or low-traffic area, practicing smart pedestrian safety tips will make your strolls a positive experience.
With all these tips, remember to practice safe social distancing if walking with a friend.
The following are a few helpful pedestrian safety tips:
- Stay on sidewalks when possible
- Wear high-visibility clothing
- Walk in well-lit areas
- Pay attention to traffic signs and lights
- Minimize distractions
- Practice “defensive walking”
Keep reading to learn more about these pedestrian safety tips below.
Stay on sidewalks when possible
Not all roads have sidewalks, so try to plan your walking route along ones that do. Sidewalks keep you further away from cars than walking on the side of the road and makes you less vulnerable to distracted or impaired drivers. This pedestrian safety tip can be especially helpful for people with hearing loss who may find it challenging to hear when a car or bicycle is coming up behind them.
Wear high-visibility clothing
As you head out for your stroll, make sure that others can easily see you. Especially keep this pedestrian safety tip in mind when you’re walking on the side of the road or during early mornings or later evenings when it’s dark. High visibility clothing and gear can help catch a driver’s attention and gives them time to slow down and plan a wide berth. Look for reflective shirts, vests, visors, armbands headlamps, and other high-visibility items.
Walk in well-lit areas
Evening walks can be a great way to beat the heat, but they also require extra precautions. Look for a path with streetlamps to light your way and make sure you’re visible to bicycle riders or vehicles. In addition to wearing bright clothing, as mentioned above, you might want to carry extra safety equipment like a headlamp or flashlight that can make it easier to see.
Distractions aren’t only dangerous on the part of drivers – walkers must be alert as well. As you’re walking, avoid headphones and long periods of looking down at your phone so that it’s easier to pay attention to the environment around you. Distraction-free walking can also help reduce stress levels as you take in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature – some call it the “nature pill” remedy for stress.
Pay attention to traffic signs and lights
In addition to helping drivers, traffic signs are also helpful for pedestrians. They help inform you about how drivers around you are likely to behave. How fast are they going? Who is supposed to yield at forks in the road, crosswalks, bridges, etc.? Do you have enough time to cross an intersection before the light turns yellow? Paying attention to traffic signs and lights is a helpful pedestrian tip that can make your walking experience safer.
Practice “defensive walking”
You may have heard of defensive driving, where you anticipate potential driving problems and respond before they happen. With walking, this idea of defensiveness is similar. To practice this pedestrian safety tip, be alert for potential hazards and act as if everyone around you is a distracted driver. Are you going through a crosswalk? The “walk” sign may be lit, but still check to make sure no one is making a turn without seeing you. If someone is in the turning lane, don’t walk unless you make eye contact and the driver waves you forward. If you’re passing driveways, look at parked cars to make sure none are about to back out.
These are just some pedestrian safety tips that can help make your daily strolls more enjoyable. For more articles on senior living and independence, head to our blog.