Autumn is upon us, and the daylight hours are shorter. If you are an outdoor exercise enthusiast and tend to walk or jog after dark, safety is key.
As a pedestrian, you are vulnerable to traffic accidents, especially in the pre-dawn or post-sunset hours. Here are tips to make yourself more visible after dark.
Think reflective material and bright colors
Running or walking shoes are usually designed with small pieces of reflective material, which catch the light from an oncoming vehicle. There are vests and jackets made with this kind of material. You may also consider adding reflective tape to the back of your shirt or jacket. As to colors, dress brightly. If you are walking or jogging after dark, wear a white shirt and a neon-colored vest or jacket.
Light yourself up
Invest in lights. A head light can cast a beam across the path, street or sidewalk in front of you. Some are lighter and others include a rear blinker. Also, lights to make yourself more visible need not be expensive. You can get creative with lights originally designed for bikes or dog collars, and you can even make a necklace using a string of small, twinkly Christmas lights.
Do not become a statistic
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency room personnel treated nearly 129,000 injured pedestrians in 2015. There were also almost 6,000 pedestrian fatalities that year, most of which occurred in urban areas after dark.
Even if you follow the laws, you are still vulnerable as you walk or run. You could be crossing the street on a crosswalk, but a driver could make a right turn anyway without seeing you. You may survive the collision but sustain severe injuries. If you should become the victim of a vehicle-pedestrian collision, explore your legal options promptly. If driver negligence was responsible, you have a right to full and fair compensation to cover your medical expenses and more. Of course, any accident after dark is one where making yourself more visible could have helped.