If you are a dog owner, it is important that you take the appropriate precautions for walking them now that the weather is getting cooler. Autumn has some very real risks for pedestrians, whether they have two legs or four.

One serious risk that you have is that the time change can mean that it is darker earlier. If you usually walk your dog after you get home from work, you’ll soon be going on these walks in the dark. Make sure that you are wearing reflective clothing. Carrying a light might be beneficial. You might be able to find a leash with a light on it or a light that will attach to the leash if you want to keep a hand free while you walk.

Try to stick to streets that aren’t too busy when you are planning your route. Some drivers might not think that pedestrians are going to be out as the weather gets cooler. This puts you at risk of being struck by a vehicle if the driver doesn’t realize that you are there. Take the time to look both ways if you need to cross a street, even if you are crossing at an intersection.

While you might take all the safety precautions you can, drivers might not. If you are hit by a car, you need to make sure that you get medical care if you suffer an injury. Your dog might need to see a veterinarian. Once you make sure you and the dog are both fine, you might opt to look into seeking compensation for the damages you suffered.