As a pedestrian, you are particularly vulnerable to potential hazards on the road: cars, bicycles, or other obstacles. Despite this vulnerability, we all must venture out of our homes and explore our surroundings to stay healthy and safe. Whether you are walking to work, taking a leisurely stroll, or simply crossing the street, there are many ways you can stay safe as a pedestrian. Read below for an in-depth guide on how to be a responsible walker!
Consult with a pedestrian accident lawyer
Sure, safety guidelines can keep you on the right track but accidents still happen. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, you need to seek the guidance of a pedestrian accident attorney to help you navigate the legal process. These lawyers specialize in representing victims of pedestrian accidents and can provide valuable advice on how to handle your case.
You don’t have to fight alone, let a professional handle the legalities while you focus on recovering from any injuries. Many pedestrian accident lawyers offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case.
Always wear bright clothing
One of the easiest ways to stay safe as a pedestrian is to make yourself visible. When walking during the day, opt for bright or neon-colored clothing so that you can easily be seen by drivers and other pedestrians. At night, wear reflective gear or carry a flashlight to increase your visibility in low-light conditions.
Even if you’re walking with friends or with your dog, make sure everyone in your group is wearing bright clothing to avoid any accidents. For dogs, consider using a reflective leash or collar to make them more visible to drivers.
Be aware of your surroundings
It’s easy to get lost in thought while walking, especially if you’re listening to music or talking on the phone. But as a pedestrian, you must stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.
Pay attention to traffic signals and crosswalks, look both ways before crossing the street, and always use sidewalks when available. Avoid walking alone in unsafe or unfamiliar areas and trust your instincts if you feel uncomfortable.
Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws
Even as a pedestrian, being familiar with local traffic laws can help you stay safe on the road. For example, in some states, pedestrians have the right-of-way when crossing at designated crosswalks while in others they must yield to vehicles.
No matter how well-traveled you are, each locale has its own set of unique rules and signals. Going the extra mile to familiarize yourself with these regulations ensures your safety and shows respect for the local community. Maybe even consider downloading a local traffic law app to have on hand for quick reference.
In today’s digital age, it’s common to see pedestrians engrossed in their smartphones, oblivious to their surroundings. This behavior significantly increases the risk of accidents. Pedestrians must avoid distractions, especially when crossing streets or walking in busy areas.
Put away your smartphone, remove your headphones, and concentrate on the environment around you. If you must use your phone, stop walking and find a safe place to stand while you do so. Your safety is more important than any message or call.
Walk on the sidewalk
Whenever possible, walk on the sidewalk to avoid walking alongside traffic. If there is no sidewalk available, walk facing oncoming traffic and as far away from the road as possible. If you are walking with a group, make sure everyone stays close together and does not wander into the road. When crossing, look both ways before stepping onto the street and always use designated crosswalks when available.
Be aware of vehicles making turns
People who are making turns often have a different perspective than those who are driving straight ahead and may not be able to see as far in front of them. As a pedestrian, make sure you make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them or walking behind them.
If you’re unsure whether a driver has seen you, wait until they have completely passed before continuing to cross the street. You don’t want to risk an accident by assuming the driver has seen you.
Walking can be a wonderful way to explore your surroundings, get exercise, and travel from one place to another. But as a pedestrian, it’s imperative to be vigilant and prioritize your safety above all else. When you adhere to the tips and guidelines outlined in this article, you can make your pedestrian journey safer and more enjoyable. Always remember to wear bright clothing, practice awareness, familiarize yourself with local laws, avoid unnecessary distractions, use sidewalks, and be cautious when crossing at turns. Your safety is in your hands.