It’s always important to pay attention to your surroundings when you’re out walking, but walking at night requires you to be a little more safety conscious. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the vast majority of fatal pedestrian accidents – 74% – occur after dark.
As fall rolls into winter, you may be walking in low light more than usual, so here are some reminders about how to stay safer:
Use sidewalks, crosswalks and walkways
Whenever possible, stick to areas that are designed with pedestrians in mind. Try to plan your path so that you are mostly on the sidewalk, and cross the street using walkways and crosswalks – never in the middle of the street.
Carry your own light source and wear bright colors
Even if there’s light around from shops and streetlights, you want to make yourself as visible as possible. Since blacks, blues and other dark colors can be hard for drivers to spot, try to wear bright clothing or something with reflective stripes for your morning run or after-dinner walk. While you’re on the go, you can also make yourself more visible to drivers by carrying a flashlight or wearing a headlamp.
Keep your eyes open and at least one ear free
With your cellphone right at hand, it’s easy to start scrolling and stop paying attention to your surroundings, but that can put you in danger. Put your phone in your pocket and keep scanning around yourself, instead. If you like to listen to music while you walk, that’s okay – but keep one earbud out so that you can hear traffic noises.
If you do end up injured by a negligent driver, find out more about what it takes to get fair compensation.