Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Wed, June 16

Be aware of your surroundings at all times

Whether crossing a street or walking at night, it's wise to be aware of your surroundings. (Adobe Images)

Whether crossing a street or walking at night, it's wise to be aware of your surroundings. (Adobe Images)

Seems that pretty much every night I see on the news another pedestrian has been seriously injured, or even killed. Many times it is the result of a hit and run. Other times, it is found that the driver did nothing wrong.

I don't know about others, but I am more than careful each and every time I cross a street. It does not matter whether it is a major street like Stockton Hill Road or just a side street like Western Avenue.

When it comes down to who has the right of way, it does not always matter. When it is between you and a vehicle, you are the one who needs to watch out! It is the pedestrian who will likely suffer the consequences.

Too often the person walking is distracted. Even more often than the driver, I think. Sometimes they are in too big a hurry and cross in the middle of the road, not wanting to walk that extra half-block or so to the next crosswalk. Being in a crosswalk does not guarantee your safety, but it probably does increase the odds.

It is just important to know the rules of the road, even if you don't drive. I consider myself a survivor. Having never driven a car and used public transportation and my two feet to get around, I consider myself a bit of an expert at walking safely. And not only when crossing the street.

I have walked many nights from a bus stop or trolley station in the dark. The way you carry a purse matters. I always wore a shoulder bag and kept it in front of me, never hanging on the side.

I never walked with earbuds or anything that would keep me from hearing another person approaching. If the sidewalk was unusually dark, I actually walked on the street if need be.

I never looked down, but instead tried to use my eyes in as wide a range as possible. If some stranger asked me for a smoke, I said "Sorry, I don't smoke."

Even If I did, this would cause me to stop and go into my purse. Not safe!

As I got older and somewhat more vulnerable, I continued to practice safety. I stopped carrying a purse and instead wore clothing with several pockets. House keys, debit card, and cash fit nicely within my pockets.

Once you realize you are not young enough or healthy enough to out-run anyone, you have to be creative. In these times of cellphone calls, texting, and earbuds, it is no wonder people don't know what is going on around them anymore.

When I hear of someone who was hurt or attacked while jogging in a secluded part of town, it doesn’t surprise me. Nearly each and every time, they are alone, listening to some kind of music, and completely unaware of anything that is going on around them. That makes it so easy for a predator to come after them from any direction.

I don't think we should live in fear, but we at least need to be as careful as possible. There are so many wonderful people around, but there a few that would do you harm and are just waiting for the right opportunity.

When you are shopping at Walmart, don't walk away from your cart while looking for an item as your purse sits open in the cart. Whether it is crossing the street, withdrawing money from an ATM, unlocking your car in a dark parking lot, pay attention to what and whom is around you. Don't become a victim because you let your guard down.

It is a lesson you don't want to learn.

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