A Runner’s Perspective - Pedestrian Safety

Like most people in our neighborhood, I enjoyed getting outdoors whether running or walking with my friends or family or walking my four legged “best friend” Shane, my Dachshund-Chihuahua. I did this to promote my health and to catch up on the latest neighborhood news with my friends. However, we often take for granted the hazards walking or running can pose to our safety and, like most people, assume that a vehicle stopped at a corner or passing us by can clearly see us. I would like to share some valuable tips for having a safer and happier run or walk in our NCTONA neighborhood. Following are some guidelines while enjoying a good run or walk:

  • Face the Traffic: When you are walking or running, walk on the left side, facing the oncoming traffic, especially if you are walking routes which do not have sidewalks or if you are in the road.
  • Wear light colored /reflective clothing: Like shocking pink, for example, (my favorite), especially if walking at night or early morning. Many brands of walking shoes already have reflective material in the heels, but can be supplemented by reflective tape or blinking light buttons that can be purchased at nearby athletic stores. Bright colored hats work as well. My favorite is my white “Spurs” hat.
  • Carry ID: Always carry some form of ID, or you can put your name and address on cell phones, clothing, or dog leaches. This is useful in case of an accident or medical emergency.
  • Leave the iPod at home: That way you will be alert to potential dangers, whether it is a fast approaching car, a dog, or people around you.
  • Walk with a Buddy: Walk with a friend or family member, dogs do not qualify. For personal safety and in case there is a emergency, your buddy has pertinent information about you!
  • Carry a Self Defense Device: This can be a hand held device like pepper spray, a loud air horn, or as some people in my neighborhood carry, a golf club.

Sometimes even with the best of intentions, accidents or mishaps do occur, but I hope that these guidelines can prepare you in case the unforeseen happens and help you to enjoy a happier and safer running or walking experience in your NCTONA neighborhood.