National Walking Month – Staying Safe while WalkingPaul Woolliscroft
May is National Walking Month and hopefully as the evenings are lighter for longer we can continue the good habit we all tried to incorporate into our new routines during the third lockdown.
Walking is free and has a whole host of health benefits especially for your heart. It has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes and can also lower the risk of dementia. Not only that, walking will also help improve your mood by releasing “happy” chemicals into your body, so why not give it a go this May.
Of course, when taking part in any outdoor activities, we should try our best to ensure we do so safely. So whether you are hiking in the countryside or walking around your estate or local town here are a number of tips to follow so that we can all stay safe whilst walking.
The Highway Code sets out how as pedestrians we should act on the roads to stay safe. This includes:-
• Always walk on pavements if possible
• Use designated crossings as far as possible and follow the Green Cross Code
• Try to avoid crossing between parked cars and make sure the driver has seen you before crossing
• Help other road users to see you by wearing or carrying something bright or fluorescent
• Use reflective materials at night such as armbands, sashes or jackets
• Take particular care of young children, pushchairs and wheelchairs
A lot of roads in the countryside won’t have pavements.
If you are in a small group, always walk on the right hand side of the road, facing the oncoming traffic so that you can be seen. Consider crossing to the left hand side on sharp bends before returning to the right hand side after the bend.
If you are part of a large, organised group, then you should stay to the left with a look out at the front and back with appropriate lighting/reflective material.
Don’t become distracted by electronic devices – look and listen out for traffic and enjoy the views!
As you are walking, keep an eye out for potholes and uneven pathways or kerbs, many injuries occur whilst walking from pedestrians tripping on uneven ground or deceiving potholes.
A well-deserved drink part way through/at the end of a walk is fine, but don’t consume so much that your judgement and abilities are impaired.
Most importantly, enjoy the fresh air, and try exploring some of your local walking routes this month, you may be surprised by how many beauty spots there are at hand.
Our Personal Injury Team are very experienced in dealing with accidents involving pedestrians. To find out more information, contact our friendly team on 01782 956123.