It’s great for you and your family to be active. Maybe you have a spouse or partner, and some kids of varying ages. It’s an excellent bonding activity to go walking or biking together.
These are times when you can talk and catch up on each other’s lives. Family time is so critical for maintaining closeness, especially right now, with the pandemic and so much economic uncertainty.
Having family activity time is a wise decision, and if you can stay fit at the same time, that’s even better.
One issue that you have to watch out for, though, is traffic safety. If you’re going out into a busy neighborhood where speeding cars are a concern, you need to be cognizant of potential hit-and-run drivers.
Here are ways to stay safe from that possibility.
Always Wait for the Walk Light
In New York City, pedestrian deaths are a significant issue. In Brooklyn, there are about 50 deaths per year from pedestrian knockdowns.
You don’t have to live in a metropolis to be a hit and run victim, though. It can happen even in smaller towns or more rural areas. You always have to be on the lookout for:
- Drunk drivers
- Drivers who have ingested other illicit substances
- Distracted drivers
One way to avoid these potential threats to you and your family is to cross the street only when the walk light is in your favor and only to cross in the crosswalk.
You should also still look carefully before you cross, even if you are doing so legally. Pedestrians and bikers are sometimes injured or killed even when they were in a crosswalk with the light favoring them.
Wear Reflective Clothing
You can also make sure that you and your family wear reflective clothing or bike safety gear if you go out in the evenings or on rainy or overcast days. You might choose to wear:
- Reflective kneepads or elbow pads if you go biking
- Bright colors that are easy to spot on gloomy days
You can also install blinking lights on your bikes. You can purchase these lights on Amazon and easily affix them to your handlebars. You could also go to a brick-and-mortar location, like your local bike shop.
Avoid Going Out at Night
You’re also better off going on walks or rides in the daylight. After nightfall, drivers might not see you as well, even if you wear bright clothing and reflective gear. You might also choose not to go out if the day is rainy, foggy, or overcast.
Remember, if you’re one of the family adults, it’s you who decides when it’s safe to go outside. If you don’t feel that it’s the best day for outdoor activities, then you can do something else with the kids indoors.
There are always some jumping jacks, simple yoga stretches, or whatever else there is room for in your house or apartment.
Avoid the Busiest Roads
Another way to avoid hit-and-run drivers and traffic, in general, is to stay away from the busiest roads and streets. If you live in a neighborhood where there is a major thoroughfare, stay away from it. Find back ways instead.
In all circumstances, avoid highways or anywhere else where there are no pedestrian accommodations. If there are no sidewalks on some streets, that might be reason enough to walk or ride your bikes elsewhere.
Spend Time on Bike Trails or in Parks
Any time that you can stay off the roads entirely and exercise in a place that doesn’t welcome cars, it makes sense to do so. Look into where the local parks are in your neighborhood. Often, these parks prohibit vehicles, or they must stay in certain designated areas.
Parks are nice not only because you can stay away from vehicles there, but also because they have athletic fields, woods, and picnic areas.
You might decide to conclude your family walk or bike ride and have a picnic. Maybe you’d like to bring a frisbee or a baseball and a couple of gloves. You can have a game of catch, tag, or hide-and-go-seek.
Family time should be both enjoyable and safe, whether you choose to hit the streets on foot or bikes. While many gyms are still closed, and school is out for the summer, you want to bond with your kids while letting everyone get some exercise.
Avoiding hit-and-run drivers and staying safe from traffic should be a priority for all of you.