Walk Smart - Protecting Yourself and Your Family

Walking is great exercise - you can go almost anywhere on your own two feet. Plus, it's free. But walking can also be dangerous. We don't want to scare you, but did you know that pedestrian injury is the second leading cause of injury-related death in the US for children ages 5-14, claiming the lives of 669 children in 2001 alone (according to National SafeKids website). Many of these children could have been saved with a little prevention.

It is never too early to start teaching children how to cross the street as well as be an effective safety role model. Here are tips to help you and your family stay safe:


  • Walk in designated crosswalks
  • Obey the traffic signals
  • Look both ways before crossing the street, even if you have the signal to walk (remember how our parents taught us!)
  • Make eye contact with drivers to be sure they see you
  • Wait until all lanes of traffic have stopped before proceeding to the next lane, if more than one lane is present
  • Wear light colored clothing or reflective material so drivers can see you at dusk and when dark
  • Be aware of sun glaring into the eyes of drivers, affecting their ability to see you


  • Start crossing if the red "Don't Walk" is flashing or steady
  • Cross a street by walking between two cars
  • Run across a busy street
  • Assume a driver sees you, just because you have the right of way
  • Cross outside of the crosswalk

Good pedestrian safety practice helps ensure that you keep your children safe and helps them establish excellent habits that they can pass on to their children.

This injury prevention tip is brought to you by the Trauma Team at Sky Ridge Medical Center.