With the weather getting cooler, many people will probably start walking outside more. Walking is great exercise, and you can do it almost anywhere. But did you know that 4,280 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2010?
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 73% of these deaths occurred in urban locations, with almost 80% of fatalities happening at non-intersections. Additionally, most of these pedestrian deaths (90%) happened in good weather, with 68% of them occurring at night.
Pedestrian injuries often occur because people get distracted while walking, causing them to trip, fall or run into something. A common distraction is talking or texting on a cellphone.
To make sure your walk is safe and enjoyable, it’s important to follow some guidelines to keep you out of harm’s way whenever you go walking.
- Walk on the sidewalk or pathway, if there is one. Stay to the right on pedestrian and cycling paths. If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk facing traffic, off the road or as close to the righthand side of the road as you can.
- Dress in brightly colored clothing during the day so drivers can see you. At night, wear clothing, shoes and/or a hat with reflective strips, so you’ll be seen when a car’s lights shine on you.
- Walk defensively. Don’t assume all drivers know the rules of the road regarding pedestrian right-of-way.
- Obey all traffic signals. When crossing the road, always stop and look in all directions for cars, motorcycles, bicycles and other pedestrians. Make sure no traffic is coming before stepping onto the roadway. When walking between parked cars, again, make sure to look both ways before stepping out from behind a car.
- Never walk alone, if possible. Otherwise, always tell someone where you’ll be walking and what time you expect to return.
- Stay aware at all times when walking – not only for traffic, but also for would-be muggers. Leave any valuables, like jewelry, at home so you don’t draw attention yourself. If you feel you may need some personal protection, you may want to carry a can of mace or something similar.
- Always carry identification at all times. Label your cellphone with your name, address and emergency contact information.
By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of injury and be safe while you’re walking and enjoying the autumn weather.
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If you suffer from corns, plantar fasciitis or other foot conditions that cause you pain when you walk, you should consider wearing custom orthotics like ezWalker® Performance Insoles. These shoe inserts are specifically designed for each of your feet – meaning your feet will be guided into the proper biomechanical position they need. And your whole body will be better aligned with improved posture, providing you with greater balance and stability with every step you take during the gait cycle. Foot pain is not normal when walking; therefore, with ezWalker® Performance Insoles, your feet will feet better at the end of every walk.
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