Walking is great exercise whether you live here in Bozeman or elsewhere. Maybe you like to park farther away from the entrance to your favorite grocery store, walk to work or just stroll around your neighborhood. On the other hand, walking could be your sole mode of transportation.
In any case, even though walking has numerous health benefits and is a cheap way to get around, it also comes with certain risks. It is nearly impossible to stay away from faster moving vehicles, and you may need to take your safety into your own hands.
Tips for safe walking
Even though others also need to make safety a priority when they are driving, biking, running or even walking, you can do some things to help decrease your risk of suffering injuries:
- Don't give in to distractions. Stay off your phone, pay attention to where you walk and to what is around you at all times.
- If you have to walk on the side of the road, face traffic. This allows you to see what is coming at you, which could give you time to get out of the way if something goes wrong.
- If you must use earbuds or headphones while walking, keep the volume low enough to hear everything around you. Of course, the better practice involves not using them at all.
- As you cross the street, look both ways. Try to make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you.
- Make sure you follow a path that others can predict.
- If you walk with someone else in a place without a sidewalk or other dedicated pedestrian path, do so in single file.
Drivers owe you a duty and must do what they can to keep you and everyone else on the road safe. They must follow the rules of the road, such as obeying traffic signals and signs, avoiding distractions and drowsiness, and not drinking or taking drugs prior to driving. It would be nice if you could count on every driver to adhere to these rules, but that doesn't always happen.
Even if you take every possible precaution while walking, it doesn't guarantee your safety. If you do end up struck by a vehicle, the only guarantee you receive is that you will suffer more serious injuries than anyone in the vehicle that hit you. You could end up in the hospital for some time and require significant recovery time. However, you may have the opportunity to seek compensation for the inevitable financial losses that accompany pedestrian vs. auto accidents.