Stay Safe While Walking
Walking offers great physical, mental and emotional benefits. Most roadways in and around the Village have designated sidewalks, but there are other areas, such as culs-de-sac, driveways and intersections, where pedestrians must remain alert for approaching motorists and/or bicyclists. Further, many residents choose to maintain a 6-foot social distance while they exercise outside during the COVID-19 pandemic, which can pose hazards if they step out into the roadway to circumvent other walkers.
Pedestrians and active walkers should take the following precautions when venturing out into the community.
- Walk on the sidewalk and not the road. Stepping in front of oncoming cars or bicyclists can cause a serious accident for all involved.
- Take extra care when walking through parking lots. These locations create unique hazards because drivers may be turning quickly or backing out of a parking space. Be sure to look for backup lights, and listen for engine noise.
- Walk with a friend. An exercise companion can add to the pleasure of your outing—and increase the safety factor. Enjoy your conversation as you walk, but don’t let it distract you from monitoring road and traffic hazards.
- Be watchful of motorists making turns at intersections. Drivers are concentrating on their maneuvers and avoiding oncoming traffic, so they might not see you. Always look for vehicles making right turns at red lights and for vehicles making left turns.
- Never text or look down at your phone when crossing any intersection.
- If possible, make eye contact with approaching motorists to ensure they see you.
- Try to cross the street with other pedestrians—there’s safety in numbers.
- Wait for a “fresh green” when crossing at traffic signals to allow yourself ample time to cross safely.
- Walk within designated crosswalks, and allow plenty of time to cross the street.
- Dress to be seen. Wear light, bright-colored or reflective clothing, especially if you walk at night. If you do walk when it’s dark, carry a flashlight.
- Wear comfortable and sturdy shoes that provide proper footing and reduce your risk for a fall.
- Mind lighting conditions, especially during dawn, dusk and times of high glare or low light. Decreased daylight, shadows and nightfall make it harder for motorists to see pedestrians.
- Walk on sidewalks. If you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic.
- Plan walking routes to avoid dangerous intersections or high-traffic areas. Look for safe, alternative routes with adequate sidewalks or footpaths.
- Stay attentive to your surroundings. Be a defensive walker who is ready for the unexpected.
- Know your physical limitations and overall health. Use caution if you are recovering from an injury or illness, or if you are taking prescription medication that may cause dizziness. Stay hydrated.
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