Safety Tips When Out Walking
Walking has always been a reliable source of transportation, but it’s no surprise that in today’s age we opt for the easier and faster methods of travel. Although vehicles are massively useful tools to get us from point A to point B, recent history indicates a revival of traveling on foot for fitness and those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
More and more people are recognizing walking as a healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around. It also allows a person to get in touch with their surroundings. Like any form of transportation, traveling on foot doesn’t come without risks. Though walking may seem simple, it is important to have a proper overall understanding of safety when traveling on foot.
Know Where to Walk
The best places to walk are typically well-used hiking trails, such as those that run through parks. When using these trails there is no motor vehicle traffic to worry about. However, it isn’t often that the perfect trail will lead to where we need to go.
If you must walk beside a roadway, make sure to walk facing traffic.Stay on the same side of the road as oncoming vehicles. This will allow you to see cars as they are approaching and will give you time to take evasive actions if needed. Be keenly aware of cars leaving or exiting driveways or parking lots.
Making yourself more visible to motorists will definitely improve your safety while walking near roadways. Make sure you wear brightly colored clothing so drivers are more likely to see you. Reflective clothing such as vests or belts should be worn at night, which makes you easier to see in low light situations.
Also remember to dress for the weather you will be experiencing on your walk. Wear clothing that is sufficiently warm for colder days, but dress in layers in case you get too hot. Same is true for warmer days, ensuring to wear cool and breathable clothing. However, remember it may cool off as the sun goes down. Pack rain gear if the weather is expected to be inclement or stormy.
Know Your Limits
While walking is relaxing and economical, it can also be exhausting over long distances. If you’re planning a long trip, look for places where you can stop and rest along the way. Also, make sure you always have a bottle of water on hand and take drinks frequently while walking.
Many people fail to stay hydrated due to the pace of walking. It’s possible to experience dehydration or heat sickness during a long walk, especially in high heat or humid conditions. If you’re walking and start to feel ill it’s probably best to stop, rest, and contact someone that can give you a ride the rest of the way.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Not paying attention to your surroundings is just as dangerous while walking as it is while driving. Being distracted while walking can take your attention away from dangers such as traffic or tripping hazards. Refrain from texting or using a mobile device, and keep the volume low if you decide to listen to music.
Avoid Walking Alone
Enlist a partner to walk with you. Not only does this make the trip more enjoyable, but it also decreases the risk of encountering a potentially dangerous situation. If you’re unable to have someone accompany you while walking, then always tell someone what route you’ll be taking and what time you expect to return.
While walking may not be very fast, it’s healthy, environmentally friendly and costs nothing. However, pedestrians are also the most vulnerable travelers on the road. Many of the potential dangers faced while walking can be avoided simply by paying attention to your surroundings, so being mindful of what’s around you goes a long way toward keeping you safe.