How to Walk With Safety in Mind

Two Methods:General Walking SafetyWalking for Fitness

Whether you're walking for fitness or just walking from the grocery store to your car in the parking lot, safety should be your number one concern. You don't need to live in fear, but you should know some of the most common hazards and how to avoid them or minimize your risk.

Method 1
General Walking Safety

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    Pay attention to your surroundings. Not only can this save you from inattentive drivers, it also gives you the best chance of spotting early warning signs there might be a problem--such as somebody following you--and makes you look less like an easy victim.
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    Stay on the sidewalk or multi-use trail. If no designated walking path is available, stay as close to the side of the road or parking lot aisle as possible and walk facing the flow of traffic. Note that in the United States, vehicles drive on the right, but in some island nations such as Great Britain and Ireland, vehicles drive on the left.
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    Always look both ways before crossing the street or any other lane of traffic flow. Although rare, drivers do sometimes go the wrong way down one-way streets or drive on the wrong side of the road.
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    Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws--and your responsibilities as a pedestrian--whether you're at home or traveling abroad.
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    Predict vehicle movements by looking at the driver inside the car, not by looking at the car. You'll be able to quickly tell whether the driver is paying attention and aware of you or not.
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    Stay sober. Walking while under the influence of alcohol increases your risk on many levels.

Method 2
Walking for Fitness

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    Wear highly visible clothing, especially if you're walking during the morning, evening or night hours or in reduced visibility. If you're walking in the dim or dark, wear clothing with reflective tape on it. If you don't have any reflective clothing, you can purchase reflective tape to sew or glue onto the backs of your walking shoes, around the cuffs of your jacket and pants, or in stripes down your arms and legs.
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    Avoid wearing expensive jewelry that might make you a target for robbery. It won't help your workout anyway.
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    Walk with a partner whenever possible, or at least tell somebody reliable which route you're taking and when you'll be back. Then stick with the plan.
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    Don't listen to a portable music player as you walk. This makes you look like an easier target, and makes it hard to stay properly aware of your surroundings.
    • If you can't give up on listening to music as part of your workout, at least ditch the ear buds in isolated areas where you need to be the most aware of your surroundings and personal safety.


  • If you feel unsafe walking through a certain area, change your route if possible or choose the busiest time of day to travel. You can also choose to carry a personal protection item, such as pepper spray. If you do carry a self-defense item while walking, make sure you know how to use it properly and familiarize yourself with any local regulations pertaining to its possession and use.
  • If you're walking a dog, keep him leashed and under control so he doesn't accidentally run into traffic. You can make your pet highly visible too, reducing the likelihood of collisions, by outfitting him with an LED-illuminated or reflective collar or harness.

Article Info

Categories: Walking for Fitness