While drivers must remain alert to the presence of pedestrians to avoid accidents, pedestrians must also take proactive steps to prevent them. Careless drivers can cause serious injuries, as well as loss of life.
Whether you are walking to school, work or simply enjoying a stroll in your neighborhood, following safety guidelines can make a significant difference in keeping you and others safe.
Obey traffic signals and signs
One of the most fundamental rules to follow when walking near roads is to obey traffic signals. These signals and signs exist to protect both pedestrians and drivers, so following them is important. To stay safe, wait for the pedestrian crossing signal to turn green before you cross the street.
Make eye contact with drivers
Before stepping off the curb, make eye contact with drivers. This simple action ensures that they see you and are aware of your intention to cross. Even if you have the right of way, it is better to make sure that the driver acknowledges your presence.
Especially when walking at night, you must make yourself as visible as possible. Wear bright or reflective clothing and consider carrying a flashlight to help drivers see you. The more visible you are, the lower your risk of an accident.
Distracted walking can be just as dangerous as distracted driving. Paying attention to your surroundings will help you stay alert to any potential hazards. Accordingly, put away your phone, headphones or any other distractions while walking near traffic.
When crossing the street, always look left, right and left again before advancing. You should also scan for oncoming traffic as you cross to ensure your safety. Additionally, avoid crossing between parked cars, as doing so makes you less visible to drivers.
Stay on the sidewalk
The sidewalk is the safest place for pedestrians to be. If there is no sidewalk, walk as far away from the road as possible. Facing oncoming traffic while walking on the shoulder can also help drivers notice you more easily.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities are increasing at a faster rate than other traffic-related deaths. No person should lose their lives as a result of a careless accident, which is why pedestrian safety is so important.