Tips for safely striding around Austin

We all know about Austin’s heavy traffic. But it also has a lot of foot traffic, with tourists, students and convention goers trekking across downtown.

Drivers always need to be on the lookout for pedestrians, but there are some things pedestrians can do to make their walks or runs through Austin a little safer. Since June is National Safety Month, we wanted to share a few of those tips.

Runners or walkers trying to log those steps should wear bright clothing if you’re moving on or around roadways. Enhance your visibility with reflective strips, vests or flashing lights, especially around dusk, dawn or at night.

As much as your playlist fuels your run or your walk, blasting music or the latest podcast through your earbuds can distract you from traffic or bikers trying to send you warnings. If you are going to be in a higher traffic area, maybe forego the music for a bit.

Always move against the flow of traffic. It may seem counterintuitive, but it puts you on the opposite side of the road from approaching vehicles approaching from the rear and gives you extra time to react to the vehicles approaching from the front. It also gives you greater visibility to drivers. Make eye contact whenever possible.

You especially want to make eye contact at crosswalks. Unfortunately, drivers use stop lights and stop signs as opportunities to respond to texts, check emails or update their social media. Drivers may also be more focused on surrounding vehicular traffic than foot traffic. Making eye contact assures you they’re paying attention to YOU.

Don’t forget to stretch, stay hydrated, and keep moving. You have a lot riding, and striding, on your safety.

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