Staying safe is important whatever activity you do. You should certainly know the rules for walking on roads where there are no pavements or public footpaths.
Walking along a windy country road can be especially dangerous. With so many blind spots on the road, it can be difficult for drivers to see you.
Busy roads are even more fatal. Statistics show that around 83% of accidents occur on urban roads.
Rules for Walking on Roads
Observing traffic safety rules helps you stay safe when you’re walking in public areas.
Here’s what should do:
- Walk on the side of the road where the traffic is coming towards you
- Pay attention to oncoming traffic and step into the side as far away from the road as possible
- Walk in single file
- Listen out for approaching traffic when you are close to a bend in the road
And what you shouldn’t do
- Walk with your back to oncoming traffic
- Forget to watch for other pedestrians and cyclists
- Wear dark colours, especially at night
- Listen to loud music or look at your phone
Walk Facing Traffic
If you’re walking along a road without a pavement, always walk on the side facing oncoming traffic. Walking into oncoming traffic gives you the best chance to see vehicles approaching and take evasive action when needed.
Look both ways before crossing any street. At controlled intersections, cross only on the pedestrian crossing light. Be careful as even then, drivers and bikers may have a green light to turn and won’t be expecting you to be in the crosswalk.
Make eye contact with any drivers who may be turning. Give them a wave and make sure they see you.
Wear bright colours when walking in the daytime or light colours/ reflective clothes/vest to be more visible at night. Drivers do not expect people to be walking on the back roads after dark, and you need to give them a chance to see you.
Extra caution is needed at dawn or twilight due to drivers’ limited visibility as they may have the setting or rising sun directly in their eyes.
Keep the Volume Down
If you listen to music with your earbuds or headphones, don’t drown out your environment. Keep the volume at a level where you can still hear bike bells and warnings from other walkers and runners. If you’re using earbuds, wear only one so you can hear your surroundings.
Head-Up and Eyes Open
Distracted walking due to chatting, texting, or playing games on a mobile device while you walk is as dangerous as doing those things while driving.
When you are distracted, you are not aware of your surroundings. You are less likely to recognise traffic danger, tripping hazards, or passing joggers and bikers. It also makes you an easy target to potential criminals.
Be Aware of Stranger Danger
Street safety is a concern for many walkers. If you’re out walking alone, choose a walking route frequented by other walkers, joggers, and bikers. Acting alert and aware can dissuade dangerous people from making you a target.
If you see someone suspicious, be prepared to divert your course or go into a store to avoid them.
Keep walking and keep safe. Don’t forget to download the Sweatcoin app and count your steps.