When the weather warms up, it often means you spend more time outdoors. Perhaps you walk the dog around the neighborhood more, go on hikes or jog. No matter how you enjoy the summer, it is necessary to remember the risks of being a pedestrian.
While walking or jogging is beneficial to your physical and mental health, it may increase your risk of getting hit by a vehicle. Keep the following guidelines in mind to stay safe as you enjoy the beautiful California summer.
It may not seem like a big deal to look at your phone or listen to music while walking. But these activities can take your eyes, ears and mind off of your surroundings. You may not notice vehicles approaching you with a lower sense of awareness. Avoid these behaviors as much as possible, especially when crossing the street.
Limit your walking to daytime hours whenever possible. If you find yourself out and about when it gets dark, wear bright clothing and have a flashlight with you. Remember that most smartphones have flashlight features now. This will help drivers notice you.
Use sidewalks and crosswalks whenever you can. Look both ways before crossing the street. Do not dart out from behind stationary cars or other objects. The more unsurprising and obvious you act as a pedestrian, the less likely you are to end up in a dangerous situation.
Watch out for drunk and distracted drivers
Even if you are the most vigilant, predictable and visible pedestrian, you cannot trust every motorist to be safe and alert. Distractions and impairment often increase during the summer months, making this time of year especially risky as a pedestrian.
No one is trying to persuade you to avoid walking and enjoying the weather. It is a normal and healthy activity. But being aware of the risks is also necessary to stay safe.