Growing concerns during the coronavirus pandemic has closed many of the entertainment venues many people once flocked to: movie theaters, restaurants, and the like. With more and more cities on lockdown, parents have to rethink their family time. The new normal for families now includes going for walks and bike rides around the neighborhood.
For many, taking a walk is one of the few outside activities allowed under new public safety regulations during this time. However, lack of sidewalks in some neighborhood or urban areas pose a risk for those seeking to stay safe. Mostly emptied streets have also increased a temptation to speed for drivers, creating yet another risk for pedestrians.
It is advised to remain extra vigilant during your walks and teach your child about pedestrians safety (check out these videos for children). Below are a few tips to help keep your walks as safe as possible.
- Keep a safe distance from other pedestrians or cyclists -- at least six feet.
- Wear a mask as additional protection against the virus, or as your city dictates as necessary.
- Keep in mind that just because you see a car, doesn't mean the car sees you.
- Hold younger children by the hand as they may have the tendency to dart off.
- Keep your pets on a leash, to keep you--or your children--from needing to chase after them.
- If walking at dusk or before dawn, wear bright colors, reflective clothing or accessories, to keep you visible to cars.
- If walking at night, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight. This keeps you visible to vehicles and helps you keep an eye out for any potholes, debris or tripping hazards on the roads or sidewalks.
- At night, avoid poorly-lit areas.
- Put electronic devices down, headphones off; keep head up and eyes alert.
- Even if you have the right of way, make sure traffic has stopped or passed before you step into the street.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Never cross the street from between parked cars--drivers often don't expect pedestrians to cross in these places and may not see you.
- Be extra vigilant for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Drive extra carefully when entering and exiting driveways.
- Drive slowly in the early evening, at least 5 mph below speed limit on major roads, as there may be more pedestrians present at this time.
- Don't text and drive. Opt for hands-free communication.
- Watch for pedestrians on medians, curbs, shoulder and roadway.
- Obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations.
- Avoid speeding, even when roads are empty.
The Smart Pedestrian's Guide to Safety
Tools to Teach Your Child Pedestrian Safety
Outdoor Safety for Children During COVID-19