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Garfield Heights City Schools

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Safety Tips for Walkers

Safety Tips for Walkers

1. Cross Safely
You should look both ways before crossing any street. At controlled intersections, cross only when you have the crossing light. 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. Make sure they see you. In an interaction between a vehicle and a walker, the walker can only lose. It can be tempting to simply jaywalk, but that is not only a safety hazard, it can result in getting a ticket.

2. Stay Aware of Bikes and Runners
Share the road and path with bikes and runners. Bike riders should alert you when approaching from behind with a bike bell or a "passing on the left/right." Listen for them, and move to walk single file, allowing them to pass safely. Runners should also call out for passing. Bike-walker collisions can result in broken bones or head injury for either—and you aren't wearing a helmet.

3. Be Visible
Wear bright colors when walking in daytime. Be just as cautious early in the morning, as drivers still have limited visibility or may even have the setting sun directly in their eyes.

4. Keep the Volume Down
Don't drown out your environment when listening to music with your earbuds or headphones. Keep the volume at a level where you can still hear bike bells and warnings from other walkers and runners.

5. Hang Up and Eyes Up
Distracted walking due to chatting, texting, or playing games like Pokemon Go on a mobile device while you walk is as dangerous as doing those things while driving. You are distracted and not as aware of your environment. You are less likely to recognize traffic danger, tripping hazards, or passing joggers and bikers. Potential criminals see you as an easy target. Adopt habits that can keep your phone in your pocket, or at least make it a practice to stop in a safe place to complete your phone tasks before moving on.

6. Be Aware of Stranger Danger
Street safety is a concern for many walkers. Choose your walking route for paths frequented by other walkers. If you see someone suspicious, be prepared to alter your course or go into a store or public building to avoid them. Acting alert and aware can convince bad guys you are not an easy target.