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Walking for your health? Remember these tips in the fall

As we head in to fall and winter, the days are growing rapidly shorter. If you walk (or jog) for your health, that can present some serious safety issues.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian fatalities -- already on the rise in recent years -- jumped another 5% in 2019 alone. So how do you maintain your exercise routine and avoid being a statistic when you're increasingly forced to walk in the low light of early morning or late evening?

Here are some suggestions that can help:

  • Brighten up your wardrobe. Forget the dark clothes and coordinated look you may have sported in the summer. Walking in the dark is all about safety, so get clothing that has reflective patches in the front, back and down the sides.
  • Carry a light. If you're walking, you can make do with a flashlight in your hand as you go. If you're running or need to keep your hands free, consider buying an LED headlamp that will focus the light just beyond your steps.
  • Use sidewalks and walking paths. Whenever possible, avoid walking along the road in the dark. If you must walk along the road, walk facing traffic so that you can better spot oncoming vehicles and respond.
  • Find an indoor substitution. If you can, look for a mall that is friendly to walkers, get a membership at a gym for the winter or buy a treadmill. It's safer to be indoors than on the street at night.
  • Walk with a buddy or two. There's safety in numbers for a lot of reasons -- not the least of which is that a group of people is more likely to be spotted by drivers than a single pedestrian.

An auto-pedestrian accident has the potential to be life-changing -- and no matter how safe you try to be, one can happen. If you are injured or a loved one is killed due to a driver's negligence, find out more about your right to compensation for your losses.

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