Traffic safety is a serious issue in the United States. Despite being one of the most prosperous countries in the world, the level of safety among pedestrians and runners tends to be poor. This is why it is common for injuries to occur. You might feel that running is a safe sport but that is not the case if you are running in an urban area on the streets. If an injury occurs, you must contact a personal injury lawyer in Kansas City.
Running or walking in an urban area, especially a busy part of the city is different from a walk in the park. Although every place has its challenges, a city tends to be quite lethal. The potential for danger is high which is why this guide offers 12 traffic safety tips to ensure that you stay safe.
- Cross the Right Way
Never cross the road in between parked cars, at the back or front of large vehicles or buses, or on roads that have high-speed traffic. Instead, it is advised that you cross at areas that have been specified as pedestrian crossings. They can found at road intersections, where pedestrians tend to walk.
If a crosswalk is busy or unavailable, then you should look for the most well-lit and safest spot for crossing the road. Always check for vehicles that come from multiple lanes or directions before you consider crossing at an intersection. Only cross when you are sure that it is safe.
- Make Eye Contact
A great way to stay safe on the road is by making eye contact with drivers. Be sure that they acknowledge you before stepping in front of a moving vehicle. Drop the habit of assuming that drivers see you. Rather act as though you are invisible and keep a distance of at least three to four feet between any vehicle and you. Moreover, if you want to cross, simply stick your hand out for drivers to see. It is encouraged that you make use of hand signals when crossing the road or changing directions.
- Always Pay Attention at Intersections
Never assume that you are out of harm’s way when the signal turns green. You never know when a driver might run the light or take a turn into the crosswalk. It is quite common. Some drivers even do it on purpose and some are just too distracted. If you live in a major city such as New York City or Karachi, then you need to make it a habit to pay attention at intersections.
- Use Sidewalks
When you walk on the road, you are prone to accidents as there are trucks, cars and other vehicles that are not too far away from you. Hence, always walk or run on the sidewalk if there is one available.
- Face Traffic
If there is no sidewalk, then your only option is to face oncoming traffic head-on. Observe all approaching vehicles as it will allow you to quickly react in case things go downhill. It will make you more visible to buses, trucks, and cars.
Do not run with your back to oncoming traffic because you would be less aware of looming danger.
- Never Try to Outpace a Vehicle
It does not matter whether you are an elite sprinter or not because you can never be a match for the speed and size of the vehicle. Motored vehicles will always be faster. Even Usain Bolt who is the fastest man on earth cannot outpace a car that cruises at a speed of 30 to 40 miles an hour. Besides, that is less than the speed limit in many cities.
- Be Aware
To stay safe, pedestrians and runners alike need to abide by the traffic laws. You can easily be distracted or lost in thought when you plug in your earphones. The sound of the noises around you could be ignored by you when you wear headphones. You might want to get into the zone when running or walking, but it could do more harm than good. Therefore, become aware of the surrounding noises such as the growl of an engine or the honking of a horn. They let you know that a vehicle is approaching.
- Avoid Wearing a Headset
You should not wear a headset which is why it has a point of its own. According to research, when running with on, our training performance tends to improve, along with consistency. However, that is no excuse for cutting yourself off from your surroundings. When you in the zone, it hinders you from being aware of your surroundings. You should be able to listen to cyclists, cars, and dogs as you run or walk. Besides, it prevents a malicious person from sneaking up on you. Your safety is more important than a moment of bliss.
- Avoid Dark Time Walks or Runs
Do not go for a walk or run at night and darker hours in general. Research shows that pedestrian fatalities are more common at night. However, if you prefer to walk during the night and have no option, then you should wear brightly colored, highly visible workout clothes and materials like running shoes, jackets, armbands, and sashes so that drivers can see you. In simple words dress to be seen by drivers to ensure that they notice you as you walk or run.
- Carry Identification
Whenever you exercise outdoors such as a power walk, trekking, biking or running, always carry some type of identification. A driver’s license should at least be taken in case of an emergency. Moreover, your phone should be with you when you go out and an emergency contact list.
- Keep It Simple
There is no need to do something creative when walking or running. Instead, keep it simple to avoid getting hurt. Leave your watch, earrings, and fancy rings behind. There is no need to attract any unwanted attention.
- Follow Your Instincts
Trust your gut feeling to stay safe. If you feel that it is not right to walk or run in a certain area, just skip that area. Listen to what your gut has to say.