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Drew: Making it Home Safely After a Morning Walk or Jog

By Samuetta Hill Drew

This time of year, our region of the country typically experiences close to perfect weather throughout the day. The day and night temperatures are great. They are like the story line in the book entitled Goldilocks and the Three Bears. As you remember when Goldilocks entered the three bears’ home it was empty. She began wandering through their home and started eating their food and each time says this is either too hot or too cold and she would find one that was “just right.” Well, our recent weather has been “just right” for walkers and joggers.
September’s safety articles have provided various safety tips for those who like to exercise by walking or jogging. Each week has had a specific safety focus. This week we will continue the practice by offering additional safety tips to help you make it home safely after your exercise routine. Over 6,000 pedestrians have been killed since 2017. You are encouraged to commit to following these walking/jogging safety tips so you will not become a statistic.
Walking facing the traffic – If there are no sidewalks and you must walk/jog on the side of the road, do so on the side facing oncoming traffic. In America, this is the left side of the road. Walking or jogging facing traffic allows you the visibility to see what is approaching and to take appropriate steps necessary to avoid any types of injury or harm.
This may be a little confusing because the opposite rule applies to cyclists. It is recommended they cycle in the same direction as the traffic flow.
Cross safely at intersections – Walkers or joggers should look both ways before crossing any street. At controlled intersections, it is wise to cross only when you have the pedestrian crossing light. Even then, drivers and bikers may have a green light to turn (or be legally turning right on red) and may not be expecting you in the crosswalk.
Never assume vehicles will stop. Yes, legally they are supposed to when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk. The key word in this sentence is “supposed to.” In today’s society, many drivers are not alert because they drive distracted by talking on their cell phones, focused on getting a parking space just beyond the crosswalk, are obtuse or clueless or countless other reasons. Knowing the pedestrian rules is great. Yes, it gives you the right of way, but you do not want to be dead right or hurled across the hood of a vehicle.
Make eye contact with any driver. Give them a wave and make sure they see and respond to you. You may consider using the “left, right, left again” rule which means you look to the left, then right, then left again since this is the side of the road vehicles will be approaching you. Also be mindful of drivers that are turning or getting in their cars and starting their ignitions. If the driver cuts the corner, you do not want to find yourself under a tire.
Keeping an Eye on Safety when walking or jogging means following safety tips, be seen and be smart.

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