Claudann Jones

You’ve made a plan to be more active, and you’re ready to go outside and get started. But before you do, make sure that you can exercise safely in your neighborhood. Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe as you get moving.

Think safety:

• Carry your ID with emergency contact information and bring a small amount of cash and a cell phone with you.

• Let others know where you’re going and when you plan to be back.

• Stick to well-lighted places with other people around.

• Be seen to be safe. Wear light or brightly colored clothing during the day and wear reflective material on your clothing and carry a flashlight at night. Put lights on the front and back of your bike.

• Wear sturdy, appropriate shoes for your activity that give you proper footing.

Safety in rural and urban areas:

• Walk during daylight hours.

• Choose routes that are well used, well lighted and safe, and those with places to sit in case you want to stop and rest.

• Stay alert.

• Always walk facing oncoming traffic.

• Walk on a sidewalk or a path whenever possible. Watch out for uneven sidewalks, which are tripping hazards.

• Look for a smooth, stable surface alongside the road.

• If the road has guardrails, see if there’s a smooth, flat surface behind the barrier where you can walk. If you need to walk on a paved shoulder, stay as far away from traffic as possible.

• Watch for bridges and narrow shoulders.

• Cross at crosswalks or intersections.

• Never assume a driver sees you crossing the street. Before you start to cross a street, make sure you have plenty of time to get across.

• Look across ALL lanes you must cross and make sure each lane is clear before proceeding. Look left, right, and left again before crossing. Just because one driver stops, don’t presume drivers in other lanes will stop for you.

For more information on health and wellness, contact Claudann Jones, Smith County Extension agent for family and community health, at 903-590-2980 or email at

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