Safe Sex for Seniors …
There, I thought that would get your attention.
Seriously, who would get excited about an article titled: Dress Safely for the Dark Days of Fall?
Either way, your life may depend on whether you follow these guidelines this autumn.
For far too long we have been following the out-of-date fashion rule: “Do not wear white past Labour Day!” And so the dark grey and black jackets and overcoats come out of hiding as the weather dampens and chills. However, as we move into a more sustainable walking community, the need to brighten up in the fall becomes a matter of life and death.
As a heart failure and stroke survivor without his own car, I walk and cycle everywhere around Caledon now. I have noticed two things: a majority of drivers need to rediscover safe courteous driving, and pedestrians need to keep their heads up and realize they are not dressed in Kevlar combat armour.
Over the last two years I have seen a tremendous increase in cars racing yellow lights, blowing through red lights and barely slowing for stop signs. My own car was totaled by a truck pushing through an extra left turn after his advanced green had ended. As we enter the shorter days of winter, and the terrain darkens before the fall of the first snows, we need to brighten up, So, here fellow walkers, cyclists, accessibility scooters, mothers with baby buggies, and seniors, are my tips and tricks.
- Dress brightly! Wear yellow, hot pink, fluorescent green and be seen. A larger lightweight inexpensive windbreaker in a bright colour can easily be worn over your heavier, darker winter clothing. I even switched my winter parka to white; couple that with “expedition orange” pants and toque and you’ll be seen!
- Get an LED cyclist’s light and clip it to your jacket cuff – those bright lights are easily visible to most motorists, other than the distracted “smart” phone users cruising at high speed to win the next Darwin Award. Or use my personal favourite, one of the LED lighted dog collars. Yes indeed, available at your favourite pet store, charges through a USB port, and wrapped around your wrist keeps all motorists at bay, especially in the flashing mode. My dog loaned me his and it saved my life five times last year. He made me buy my own this year.
- Keep Alert and NEVER assume pedestrian rights and safety at an intersection. Triple check before pushing out into the crossings. Dark weather, rain, slush and oncoming headlights all combine to make it difficult for even a safe driver to see you in time.
Dress to be seen and get wherever you want to go safely. And promise, to paraphrase poet Jenny Joseph, “I shall start to wear the colour bright purple NOW.”