While we at Healthy Northland promote the health benefits of walking, we also know that, according to the CDC, pedestrians—people who travel by foot, wheelchair, stroller, or similar means—are among the most vulnerable users of the road. No one plans to slip on the ice or get hit by a car. So please take 30 seconds to learn how to stay safe:
- Whenever possible, cross the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection.
- Increase your visibility at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing retro-reflective clothing.
- It’s safest to walk on a sidewalk, but if one is not available, walk on the shoulder and face traffic.
- Avoid distractions such as electronic devices that take your attention off the road.
- Watch out for children’s safety when they’re walking near traffic.
- Stay sober. (In 2013, 34% of all pedestrians killed in traffic crashes had a high blood alcohol level)
- Walking on ice? Avoid it if you can. But if you must, take your time and walk like a penguin: Spread your feet out slightly, to increase your center of gravity, and take small steps.
- If you’re walking for fitness, consider indoor walking for a while if outdoor conditions are risky.