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How can you make your morning walk or run safer?

If you're starting your summer exercise program and are planning on adding walking, jogging or running into your routine, you need to keep in mind that pedestrians and drivers sometimes have a contentious relationship when it comes to sharing the road.

What can you do to make it through your morning exercise routine more safely?

-- Don't wear headphones that will block your ability to hear car horns or emergency vehicle sirens. That's an easy way to get lost in your steps and forget the dangers around you.

-- Wear bright colored clothing and reflective wear, and make sure that you are visible from both the front and the back in poor light. Even if you run after sunrise, low-visibility on rainy and overcast days could put you in danger.

-- Don't choose a path for the scenery -- choose it for safety. A scenic route may put you in an area with lots of hills and curves and heavily-wooded spots, which are dangerous when you're facing drivers who are rushing through a morning commute. You could easily be clipped by a caffeine-deprived motorist on a tight curve or a sharp bend in the road.

-- Face the traffic and be aware of distracted drivers. Travel-ling against traffic makes it easier to see and react to the vehicles you encounter. If you see a car that's heading your way, don't assume that the driver will swerve -- get out of the way if at all possible. You never know when a driver is simply being inattentive.

-- Use hand signals and eye contact whenever possible, especially if you have to cross traffic at some point. Meeting a driver's eyes and a friendly wave helps make sure that you're noticed and the driver isn't lost in his or her own thoughts.

As a final precaution, just in case you are in an accident, make sure that you carry identification and emergency contact information on you at all times. Let a family member or friend know your route and routine -- that way if you don't show up somewhere on time, friends and relatives know where to start searching.

If you are injured in an accident with a vehicle while walking, jogging or running, an attorney can provide information about the possibility of a lawsuit to recover fair compensation for your injuries.

Source: breakingmuscle.com, "11 Potentially Life-Saving Tips For Staying Safe While Running," Amy D. Hester, accessed May 05, 2017

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