Walking Country Roads

Walking Country Roads

I’m very lucky – I spend half my time living in a small country town, and the other half living in a bustling city.  I walk every day, so depending on where I am at the time, my walks cover a breadth of different environments.

When I’m in the country, I find that there are limited footpaths, so most of the time I walk on the road.  There are a few safety strategies I use to help stay visible to other road users, such as:

  • Walk facing the oncoming traffic
  • If you are walking with a friend – walk single file
  • Be visible – wear clothing that stands out
  • Be predictable – don’t make sudden changes in direction or stop suddenly
  • Don’t get distracted
  • Always be aware of your surroundings
  • If you hear a vehicle approaching from behind, and can see a vehicle coming towards you, if possible, step off the road (onto the shoulder) to allow the vehicles to pass safely
  • Use your eyes, your ears and your instincts.

I generally find that drivers approaching me will give me some space by moving over to the other side (if there is no oncoming traffic).  When they do this, I like to give a little wave to thank them.  Most of the time I get a little wave back – one of the joys of walking in the country.  

When I hear a vehicle approaching from behind, and I can see a vehicle coming towards me, I always step off the road to allow them to pass safely.

Walking in the country often means walking winding roads that have blind corners. I often choose to (safely) move to the wide side of the road – the one without the blind corner. This way, I can see the traffic coming towards me, cars approaching from behind can see me and, if necessary, I can step off the road.  Sometimes there will be winding roads with a guard rail which means I can’t easily step off the road. I always make a judgement call about the safest side of the street. 

I walk on country roads with no street lights during daylight hours, but never at night. When I walk at night in a country town, most of the streets have pretty good lighting. I love walking down the streets in town at night. On a clear night, the sky is sparkling with stars and there are very few cars or people about. 

I never wear headphones, listen to music or talk on the phone when I’m walking on a busy road.  I do, however, have some conversations walking on quiet roads, where the only ones I’m disturbing are the cows or horses and sometimes a kangaroo!

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