Has walking become the new health hazard? Hotel Casa del Mar, an upscale hotel in Santa Monica, recently created a 10,000 Steps walking map — a nice resource that encourages Casa del Mar visitors to take a nice long walk along the beach vs., say, a less eco drive along the PCH. The hotel even put together a corresponding free podcast that helps people develop good posture and walking habits!

Funny thing though: The map has a paragraph-long “Disclaimer and Guest Advisory” on the back that reads thusly:

Distances are approximate. The course outlined is used by joggers, cyclists, rollerbladers and pedestrians — be vigilant, especially when overtaking those in front of you. The course exists in an urban district and is subject to hazards and risks associated with such an environment. We recommend that you take suitable precautions to ensure your safety and security. Travel with a partner, if possible; use the course only during daylight; and carry identification and medical history. Neither Shutters nor Casa del Mar patrols any part of the course and, therefore, can assume no liability for guests safety and security. Use of the course is at the guest’s risk.
When did walking down a car-free beach path get so dangerous and risky! Has walking become such a rare activity that such legal precautions have become necessary?

Oddly, Casa del Mar has no corresponding “drive at your own risk” messages for the driving directions provided on its website — so I drafted one up for them:

Travel time will vary widely, depending on traffic, so expect your journey to take twice as long as Google Maps or Mapquest estimates. Neither Shutters nor Casa del Mar are responsible for the extra time lost in gridlock, nor the tardiness to business meetings and the subsequent loss of profit or employment that could result from the time lost. The roads and freeways outlined are used by careless drivers with road rage, teen angst and suicidal tendencies. Be vigilant, especially as most drivers don’t signal when changing lanes or turning.

The roads exists in an urban district and are subject to hazards and risks associated with such an environment, such as the occasional errant couch to swerve around on freeways. We recommend that you take suitable precautions to ensure your safety and security. Carpool, if possible, and carry identification and medical history. Remember that using cell phones — whether to make calls or to text — are forbidden while driving in California, and that the use of headsets, while legal, has not proved to make driving any safer.

Neither Shutters nor Casa del Mar patrols any part of the course and, therefore, can assume no liability for guests safety and security. Nor can the hotels be held responsible for the obesity and the related diseases including, but not limited to, Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, generally associated with America’s over-reliance on the automobile for transportation and sedentary lifestyle. The hotels also do not assume liability for the car pollution created or inhaled by hotel guests, or the resulting ailments, including, but not limited to, cancer, asthma, and lung disease. Use of the driving directions is at the guest’s risk.

What other disclaimers would you add?

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