So many of us have a regular exercise routine that we rely on for both our mental and physical health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends moderate exercise for maintaining excellent health, and a 20-minute walk after dinner is a perfect way to keep fit. But when it is dark after dinner, safety becomes a priority.
Pedestrian accidents, especially those involving vehicles, can result in catastrophic injury or even death. In those cases, contacting an experienced Los Angeles injury attorney is the best way to protect you and your family.
However, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and thinking ahead about ways to stay safe during your walk is an excellent way to avoid unpleasant results. Follow these safety tips to prevent accidents and enjoy time outside with friends and family.
Basic Safety Procedures
As always, basic safety procedures should be followed whenever you are walking on the roads, not only in the evening. Start by following these standard safety tips.
- Always carry a cell phone, and make sure that it has plenty of charge power and a signal.
- Avoid suspicious people. Cross the street, walk into a store or knock on a neighbor’s door if you feel threatened in any way.
- Keep your hands free. Use a secure cross-body bag or fanny pack if you must carry more than your phone and a flashlight.
- Carry a whistle. In an emergency, it can be used to draw the attention of people that may help.
- Do not look at your phone while walking. Distractions cause accidents.
Having a plan can ensure that you don’t get lost, that you stay confident and have the ability to stay aware of your surroundings with less distraction. Always have a plan before you head out for your walk.
- Plan your route ahead of time.
- Share your route with another person, along with an estimate of how long it will take you to complete your walk.
- If you live in a dangerous area, consider taking a self-defense class for peace of mind.
Follow the Rules of the Road
While pedestrians have the right of way in California, using common sense and following the rules of the road can help keep you safe.
- Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible.
- Use crosswalks.
- Obey traffic signals and street signs.
- Make eye contact with drivers before stepping off a curb or into a crosswalk.
One of the most common causes of pedestrian-vehicle accidents is that a driver did not see the pedestrian. Use these tips to stay visible while walking.
- Wear bright clothing.
- Wear reflective gear, like a hat or vest.
- Carry a flashlight.
Follow Your Common Sense
In addition to accidents, walking at night can leave you susceptible to becoming a victim of crime. Using your common sense to avoid obvious danger is always a good idea.
- Stay in well-light areas; walk on streets with street lights and activity.
- Avoid isolated areas.
- Walk with a friend or family member to avoid being alone.
By following these safety tips you and your family can enjoy evening walks as a way to maintain good health and spend quality time together.