The colder, darker days are in full swing and with the recent stormy weather, it is even more difficult for pedestrians to be seen by motorists.
Icy roads and paths can also make walking hazardous for those out for a stroll.
Here are some key reminders for anyone walking during the winter months:
1) Stay off your phone while walking– distracted walking is dangerous!
2) Be visible to drivers day and night by wearing bright, reflective items. Add a reflective sticker or patch to your jacket and bag and carry a torch. Even if you are walking on footpaths you may have to cross the road at some time, so wear a hi-vis vest and ensure you are seen! Never wear dark coats or other clothing - especially if walking in the early morning or the night.
3) Wear proper and well-maintained footwear to reduce your risk of falling on slippery surfaces. If your shoe grip is worn you are at greater risk of falls.
4) Be as light as possible– avoid carrying things that could make you lose your balance while walking. Unbalanced shopping bags can cause you to lose your balance and fall out in front of traffic. Buy a wheeled bag if you have to drag groceries any long distances.
5) Keep your head up! Avoid looking at something other than the direction you’re traveling in. People often have the habit of staring at their feet as they walk. Look up and avoid walking into people and signs!
6) Ditch the headphones. Yes, it's become a thing of choice to listen to music when you walk, but the reality is this distracts you from what's around you. Music also masks the noise of approaching vehicles and you could find yourself stepping out in front of a car without even realising it. Ditch the earphones and stay aware of your surroundings. Or, if you must listen to music while you walk, stick to designated walking trails that do not have any cross-over with roads.