Walking Safety Tips
Find a Buddy
Walking with someone can be a great motivator and make the time more enjoyable. In addition, there is always safety in numbers. If you do have to walk alone, make sure you tell someone your route and the time you expect to return.
Wear Reflective Gear
If you will be out during the early morning or evening, wear light colored clothing or reflectors. A warm up suit with reflective strips, walking shoes with reflective material on the heel or a reflective belt (available at most sporting goods stores) will all make you more visible to oncoming traffic. Also try to walk on well-lit streets if possible.
Walk Facing the Traffic
Especially if there are no sidewalks or pathways on your route, the "rules of the road" say you should walk against the traffic. This also keeps you aware of any potential danger coming towards you.
Vary Your Route
This is for safety as well as enjoyment. It is much more interesting to experience different surroundings from time to time. This also prevents anyone from memorizing your route and perhaps knowing the best time to approach you.
Beware of Drivers
Do not assume that drivers know when pedestrians have the "right of way." Be especially cautious of driveways- most drivers are watching for oncoming cars, not walkers.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Watch for ice, water, bike riders, cracks in the pavement, or any other hazards in your path. It can be very easy to trip and fall without warning, which can be especially dangerous if you are alone.
What to Bring
It is a good idea to carry pepper spray, a cell phone or an alarm in case you get into trouble. It can also be helpful to carry a walking stick or umbrella in case you need to fend off an unleashed dog. Maybe bring a dog of your own as a companion and for safety. Always have your I.D. with you in the event that you become disabled.
What Not to Bring
Do not wear any jewelry that might draw someone's attention. Do not wear headphones- they can prevent you from hearing oncoming traffic or someone coming up behind you. You should always be aware of what is happening in your environment.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
Wear sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen.