Since I have been promoting walking on my blog, I think maybe its time to talk a little bit about how to walk safely. Today as I was walking, I crossed paths with another lady twice. To get to the trail I walk on I must cross about 300 yards of a heavily traveled area. The first time I passed her, she was walking with her back to traffic in that busy area. The second time I passed her she was walking in the median of the busy area, then moved to the shoulder of the road with her back to traffic again. In the area I passed her the second time, there is a perfectly good trail about 10 feet wide made for pedestrians and bicycles. I do not understand why anyone would choose to put themselves in harms way, when there is an awesome trail just on the other side of the road.
I used to work a job where I worked in interstate construction areas quite a bit. I worked this job for about three years, and I can not count how many times I was almost struck by another vehicle and one even caught the back of my pants with their bumper. The point is, if I were not constantly paying attention to what was going on in the surroundings of my supposedly safe construction zone, I most likely would not be here today. You must look out for yourself when you are out and about, especially these days when most people can not seem to figure out how to drive without a phone in one hand.
According to the https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/pedestrian-safety website, in 2018 6,238 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes. So, if you are going to get out there and walk for your health, I want to help you do it safely or as safe as possible.
1. If there is no trail or sidewalk, walk facing the traffic in your lane. Never turn your back on traffic!
2. Be predictable, follow the rules of the road. Cross streets at traffic lights and intersections, where drivers are more likely to expect pedestrians.
3. Never assume a driver sees you. Watch every vehicle the comes at you and know how you will get out of the way if they do not see you. Try to make eye contact with the driver, see them see you.
4. Wear highly visible clothing, a bright colored hat, shirt, or even a reflective vest. Try to be always visible.
5. Make sure cars in turn lanes are expecting to see you in the crosswalk. Do not assume they will wait for you to cross before proceeding.
6. Keep your head up and pay attention to your surroundings. Do not be looking at your phone the whole time. This is good advice whenever you are out and about. Try to know what is always going on around you, having situational awareness is a good thing.
7. Do not have the volume in your headphones turned up so loud that you can not hear what is going on around you. I often just have one side in my ear.
Now get out there and safely enjoy your walk and have a great day!!!