The days are getting shorter as winter sets in in New England and we all know what that means. It will be dark right after lunch. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but seriously, the headlights have to be on at 4 p.m. and at 5 p.m. it’s pitch black.
The early sunset means a lot of changes in our daily routines and can make simple routines a little more difficult, like getting home from work. Something that drives me crazy all year round is when people walk in the dark wearing completely black clothes with no lights or reflectors.
As I am an enthusiastic runner and dog handler myself, I am out and about quite often. I fully understand that it is the driver’s job to pay attention and share the road with pedestrians, but if you are on the streets or sidewalks after dark or before sunrise, you will definitely be helping out the drivers and protect yourself at the same time!
In fact, I think there should be government guidelines on this. I know there are so many laws and regulations in place in the Commonwealth that we call our home, but when it comes to preventing accidental injuries or worse, I prefer to play it safe. Every time I go for a walk or walk my dog, I bring a light flashlight and attach reflective labels to my dog collar.
If someone is out on public roads after dark, be it a stroller, runner, cyclist, or whatever, you should wear light-colored or reflective clothing, or carry a lamp. To the people who go outside at dusk or later if you wear all black, YOU ARE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE!
They make so many clip-on or portable lights and reflectors these days that there really is no reason not to have one. Or just carry a regular old flashlight. Not only do they protect themselves, they also help the drivers. Drivers who accidentally injure or kill someone also suffer from the trauma of the incident. I say that excuses negligence, but it simply makes the roads safer for everyone involved.
There is one woman I pass by on my way to work almost every morning (when it’s pitch black all year round, oh the glamorous life of a morning radio host) and she walks her dog down a dimly lit street but always wears reflectors and she also has on her dog. As soon as I turn the corner, I see them immediately, slow down and give them enough space. We should all do that.
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