With another full month until the winter solstice, the days are getting shorter, but most of us have to continue on with our regular schedules. This means being outside in the dark as we pick up kids from school and activities, travel to and from work, and walk our dogs. Keep yourself and your neighbors safe this winter by being seen!
When walking, it’s just as important to be visible. If your coat is dark, accessorize with a brightly colored or high vis scarf or hat. Get a reflective dog leash or dress your dog in a reflective dog vest. Keep in mind that cars parked too close to a cross walk make it very hard for drivers to see you when you are trying to cross. If you see a car that is closer than 20 feet to a crosswalk or 15 feet from a stop sign, it is parked illegally, regardless of the signage or paint. Illegally parked cars can be reported to 911. If you see that curb paint or proper signage is missing, report it to 311.
Safe Bicycle Travel
Make sure your bicycle is equipped with the right kind of lighting for winter travel. Relying on your your reflectors alone is not enough! Use a red light on the back and a white light on the front. Some experts recommend using two lights for after-dark riding…one set on blinking and one set on a steady beam. Lighting options have improved in the last few years and you can get lights that recharge with USB cords so you don’t go through a million batteries. Lights can be mounted directly to your bicycle or clipped onto your helmet or bag. You may also consider layering with a reflective or a high visibility vest, or applying reflective tape to your bike frame or bags. If your commute includes time on trails or poorly lit streets, be sure that your light is strong enough to illuminate your way…many cheaper lights are just designed to make you visible to other vehicles. Visit the BikePGH website for a complete list of regional bike shops that can help you properly outfit your bicycle. http://bikepgh.org/shops. Read more about bicycle lighting options here: https://www.bikelightdatabase.com/faq
Stay Off the Phone!
And whether you are walking, biking or driving, keep your phone in your pocket! Texting or reading is extremely distracting during any mode of transportation and extremely dangerous.