Road Safety for Pedestrians

Road Safety for Pedestrians

When we think about preventing auto accidents, we often focus on what drivers can do to stay safe on the road. However, we tend to neglect pedestrians when giving safety tips. Although pedestrians have the right of way, it is still important for anyone walking in traffic to be aware and alert, and to know the rules of the road. This is particularly crucial in big urban areas, where there is often heavy foot traffic in addition to heavy motor traffic. Here are some safety tips for pedestrians.

Avoid jaywalking, even if you think you can get away with it.
Most of us have jaywalked several times throughout our lives. Although it may be illegal, it isn’t considered a big deal to most people. However, jaywalking does pose a safety risk to both you and the drivers around you. Even if the road seems clear, you never know when someone could come speeding around the corner without warning. Jaywalking can also interrupt the flow of traffic, making accidents between cars more likely to happen as well. Although it may take a little longer, head up to the next crosswalk so you can cross legally.

When you are crossing a road, look both ways and make yourself visible.
You’ll always want to double check for oncoming traffic from both directions before crossing a street, just to be completely sure that it is safe to enter the road. Additionally, you should always avoid darting into the middle of the street, and raise a hand to alert any nearby cars that you are crossing. By going at a steady pace and making the appropriate hand gesture, you’ll ensure that nearby cars will see you and know to slow down.

Walk facing oncoming traffic.
When you are walking on the side of the road, you should always walk facing oncoming traffic. Why? This is so both you and the drivers on the road can see what is coming up ahead. If you were to walk with the traffic instead of against it, you wouldn’t be able to see the cars coming up behind you. You should also make an effort to use designated pedestrian walkways or footpaths whenever possible to avoid getting in the way of the cars.

Avoid walking in dark areas at night.
Not only is this not smart from a crime safety standpoint, but walking in dimly lit areas at night can also make it very difficult for drivers to see you, which could result in a collision and maybe even some serious injuries. Stick to brightly lit areas with sidewalks when walking at night, and try to stay in groups so you are easier to see. Additionally, it helps to wear light colored clothing or carry a light so that you can be seen more easily.

If you are stepping out of a vehicle, yield to oncoming traffic.
Whether you are getting out of a car parked on the side of the road or you are stepping out of a bus or train, you should always be careful to watch for oncoming traffic. There’s a good chance that any oncoming cars wouldn’t be able to see you, so you should make sure that there is no one in your way before exiting. You should always try to exit a parked car on the outside of the road whenever possible.

As a pedestrian, it is just as important for you to stay safe as it is for drivers to stay safe. Make a habit of following the rules of the road and staying very alert and aware, and you’ll be much less likely to experience an injury as a result of an accident.

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