CRESTVIEW — With folks hitting the streets in increased numbers in the morning and after work now that summer’s swelter is waning, drivers have observed some walkers putting themselves in possible harm’s way. 

Examples include not being aware of their surroundings, walking on the wrong side of the street or walking two or more abreast in the street.

The Crestview Police Department took the advice of local Realtor Carol Strom, who suggested sharing some tips on walking safety.

The Crestview Police Department joins the Florida Department of Transportation in offering these safe walking tips:

• Obey traffic laws, including pedestrian traffic laws.

• Use sidewalks when they’re available.

• Walk against the direction of traffic if no sidewalk is available so you can clearly see oncoming vehicles. Do not walk with your back to traffic.

• If walking with others, don’t walk two or more abreast in the street. Walk single file.

• Always use crosswalks if you’re crossing a street, especially a busy one. An intersection with a signal is the safest place to walk, provided you obey the signals.

• Look, then look again before crossing the street.

• Be visible. Wear bright colors and reflective accessories such as belts, clothes, wristbands and shoes.

• Always be aware of your surroundings. Since you know your neighborhood well, you can be extra eyes and ears for the Police Department. Call the CPD Dispatch Center, 682-2055, at once if you see anything unusual or suspicious.

The Florida Department of Health says that walking:

• Lowers blood pressure because it dilates your blood vessels, reducing the pressure on blood vessel walls

• Lowers cholesterol, which decreases risks to your heart

• Strengthens your heart and cardiovascular system, elevating your heart rate while you walk and lowering it when you rest

• Increases your body’s production of endorphins, which improves your mental and physical health because endorphins are your body’s natural way to decrease stress

• Makes you feel better and possibly sleep more soundly

• Helps you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight when you’ve reached your weight goal.