Over the past few weeks, more people have been walking and biking around their neighborhoods as a way to be part of their community without actually coming in contact with people. As someone who exercises regularly outside it’s nice to see so many people taking advantage of this extra time and improving their health by getting some fresh air. What I didn’t expect is for so many children and adults to not know the “Rules of the Road”. Now is a good time to for a reminder with so many families being out and about.
If you are walking, do so in the opposite direction of traffic. This gives you the best chance to see vehicles approaching closest to you and take evasive action when needed. Unless you are on a sidewalk separated from the road, you should walk in single file. When walking at night, wear light-colored or reflective clothing to be visible. If you are walking dogs, please keep them on short leashes.
If you are biking, cycle in the same direction as the traffic flow. The League of American Bicyclists states:
FOLLOW THE LAW
Your safety and image of bicyclists depend on you. You have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers. Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic; use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.
Make your intentions clear to everyone on the road. Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars. Signal turns, and check behind you well before turning or changing lanes.
Ride where people can see you and wear bright clothing. Use a front white light, red rear light and reflectors when visibility is poor. Make eye contact with others and don’t ride on sidewalks.
Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other people on bikes will do next. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look out for debris, potholes, and other road hazards. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.
Check that your tires are sufficiently inflated, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick release levers are closed. Carry tools and supplies that are appropriate for your ride. Wear a helmet.
And overall, do not exercise outdoors while distracted by your cell phone. Not only does that endanger others by your lack of attention to surroundings, it can make you a target for criminals.