Walking isn’t just time-consuming, it can also be dangerous.
In 2017 alone there were nearly 6,000 fatal accidents involving pedestrians.
If you find yourself on foot quite often then it’s important that you learn how to keep yourself safe.
If you’re looking for some pedestrian safety tips to keep you safe while you’re on the road then you’re in the right place. Keep yourself safe on your next stroll with these handy pedestrian safety tips.
Be Aware At All Times
You need to make sure that you’re aware of your surroundings at all times while you’re on foot. That doesn’t just mean making sure you check both ways when you’re going to cross the street either.
When you’re walking against traffic on the side of the road you should be aware of what each vehicle in front of you is doing. Try to stay as far back on the shoulder as possible if there’s no sidewalk just in case someone does veer off.
Speaking of which you should always face traffic in areas where there’s no sidewalk. If it’s not too big of an inconvenience you should do so in areas with sidewalks as well.
Don’t trust lights either. Make sure that even if you have the right-of-way you spot check both sides and make sure all vehicles are stopped or slowing to stop before you cross a street.
Awareness is your number one protection. It’ll almost always be the car you don’t see coming that gets you.
Remain Visible At All Times
Many of us like to walk at night, often in dark clothing.
That’s a good way to catch a car if your awareness slips momentarily. When you’re walking at night you should have a flashlight and a high visibility vest. A driver who knows you’re there is one who’s not going to hit you.
It doesn’t just apply at night either. Many times, especially in residential neighborhoods, there are blind corners and other visual obstructions. Position yourself either completely on the inside of these or swing wide so that any oncoming cars can spot you before there is a collision.
Respect Traffic Signals
It can be tempting to make a dash across a seemingly empty street while the lights aren’t in your favor. Unfortunately, in a collision between a fleshy body and a high-speed steel frame you’re not going to come out on top.
Even if it takes a couple of minutes longer to reach your destination it’s better to just wait it out.
In some states, not doing so can even put you at fault if you get hit. If you’re curious about fault when it comes to pedestrian accidents you can learn more here.
Put the Phone Down
Walking while texting or calling can be a dangerous affair. Many people are hit each year crossing while using their phones for something.
At the very least you should never walk through an intersection while you’re on the phone. Ideally, you should stop somewhere safe before you take that call or make a text to a friend.
In any case, phones are a distraction and there’s not much room for error when you’re a pedestrian.
While a drunken stroll can be fun, you should avoid doing it whenever possible. It’s better than drunk driving but you can still be putting yourself at risk.
Alcohol and drugs can affect your reaction time, as well as releasing inhibitions to a dangerous point.
We know it’s not always possible, but the more you can avoid walking while under the influence the safer you’ll be. Keep that in mind before you decide to do the “responsible” thing and walk home through a crowded area.
Be Careful in Parking Lots
While many of us feel quite confident walking across a parking lot they’re also a remarkably easy place to get hit by a car.
When you’re walking down an aisle make sure to look out for the reverse lights on the cars around you. There’s usually limited visibility in a crowded parking lot and it’s relatively easy to back into someone who’s not paying attention.
You should also be careful going around corners into lanes where cars are. Not everyone drives carefully in parking lots and the last thing you need is to get hit by someone who lacks caution.
It’s Not Just Cars
While most of these pedestrian safety tips are focused on cars, they’re not the only thing which you can collide with while on the sidewalk or shoulder of the road.
Always keep an eye out for runners and bikers. If you’re walking against traffic then any bike approaching should approach from the traffic side. In many jurisdictions, bicycles aren’t even allowed on sidewalks but that rarely stops anyone.
Joggers and runners are another potential hazard. If you’re both on the right side of the road they should be fine, but stay alert when you go around corners.
Lastly, make sure to be aware of anyone with a dog. Unless you’re one hundred percent sure it’s best to walk around if the owner doesn’t rein in their dog as you approach.
Most dogs aren’t going to bite, but it will be the one you dropped your guard around that does.
Enjoy Our Pedestrian Safety Tips?
Making sure that you get where you’re going with minimal danger is important. In the modern world, it’s pretty rare to find people who actually commute by walking so we’ve lost some of our awareness and instincts.
It’s pretty simple to stay safe, however, and after just a bit most of these pedestrian safety tips will be on autopilot.
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