Com­mon sense best de­fense at night

The Covington News - - LOCAL - ROB DEWIG rdewig@cov­news.com

The Fri­day night death of a pedes­trian on Ge­or­gia High­way 81 near Al­covy Road should serve as a wakeup call to every­one — and that’s every­one, at one time or another — who needs or wants to be out af­ter dark.

Sgt. Cort­ney Mor­ri­son, the pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer for the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, of­fered some ad­vice Tues­day for any­one out­doors at night. Some ideas are ba­sic. Some you prob­a­bly haven’t thought of. The point, of course, is maybe now you will.

“If you have to walk some­where, take your time, use your com­mon sense and be safe,” Mor­ri­son said.

First, walk against traf­fic. Side­walks are prefer­able, of course, but they aren’t ev­ery­where. If you can see a car’s head­lights, you have a bet­ter chance of avoid­ing in­jury. Don’t let them sneak up be­hind you.

It’s all about vis­i­bil­ity, re­ally, about see­ing and be­ing seen.

“Don’t wear dark col­ors at night,” Mor­ri­son said. Think white T-shirts or jack­ets, or maybe orange or yel­low.

“Your blacks, browns, blue, greens, not so much,” she said.

“Run be­hind ve­hi­cles (stopped) at in­ter­sec­tions in­stead of run­ning in front of them. Even if the car or truck is stopped, there’s no guar­an­tee the driver has seen you.”

If you’re out, don’t wear head­phones, tempt­ing as your tunes might be.

“It di­min­ishes your abil­ity to hear noises, voices or even an at­tacker,” she said.

Here’s a new one: “Wear a billed cap and clear glasses. The bill of a cap will hit a tree branch be­fore it hits your head.” The glasses, pre­scrip­tion or not, will pro­tect your eyes from what­ever’s fly­ing around. Also, if you walk of­ten, change your routes. “A po­ten­tial at­tacker can al­ways look for pat­terns,” she said. “Run with a part­ner. There’s al­ways strength in num­bers. I love that sug­ges­tion. High­light it. Run with a part­ner.”

Also, make eye con­tact with driv­ers. “That ac­tion, how­ever brief, you know you saw them and they saw you.”

Carry your cell phone. For maybe $15, you can buy an arm wrap to hold the phone while you jog. Keep the iTunes off, but have the phone.

“What­ever hap­pens, if you trip and twist and an­kle, you can call for help,” she said.

The point is that com­mon sense makes sense: “The sug­ges­tions we’re of­fer­ing up could po­ten­tially save some­one’s life.”

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Con­nec­tion

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