Walking anywhere there may be vehicle traffic requires awareness, precaution, and vigilance – for both pedestrians and drivers. This may sound like hyperbole, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,977 pedestrians killed across the U.S. in 2017. On average, a fatal pedestrian accident occurred every 88 minutes that year. Pedestrian safety is something every person should know and every child should learn, as it can reduce the risks of a collision or injury.
Be seen – If a driver cannot see you, he or she cannot react to your presence. Wear clothing that can be seen easily by cars, especially at night. At intersections, try to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they are aware of you.
Be alert – Distracted walking can be dangerous. Looking at a phone takes your eyes off potential hazards. Wearing headphones leaves you unable to hear warning signs of trouble. Not paying attention to traffic, or even the sidewalk, can result in injury.
Be aware – Identify possible signs of danger. If you see a car turning, do not assume that a driver sees you. If you see a car backing out of a driveway, do not assume that the driver will look for pedestrians. Continuously scan the scene to ensure you are safe.
Be vigilant – After identifying signs of danger, react accordingly. Avoid being in an intersection into which a vehicle is turning. Avoid standing in a driveway behind a reversing vehicle.
Be law abiding – Follow all posted signs and signals intended for pedestrians. Always cross streets at designated crosswalks or intersections when available.
Be safe – Walk on the sidewalk if one is available. If there is no sidewalk, walk against traffic while staying as far away from vehicles as possible. When crossing a street or intersection, even if you have the right of way, never assume a driver will give you the right of way.
Be sober – Pedestrians under the influence of drugs or alcohol place themselves at greater risk of a pedestrian-involved crash. Impaired decision-making skills and slower reaction times can lead to disaster.
Be courteous – Always yield to pedestrians, allowing them plenty of space to cross safely. Slow down as you approach marked crosswalks. Never overtake stopped or slowing vehicles at crosswalks – they may be stopped for pedestrians!
Be careful – Observe all posted warnings and follow posted speed limits, especially in residential areas.
Be observant – Be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially in low visibility situations.
Be attentive – When backing out of a parking spot or driveway, turning at an intersection, or approaching crosswalks, always check for pedestrians.
Be sober – Never drive under the influence.
Pedestrians following the rules of the road who are struck by vehicles may be entitled to compensation for any injuries sustained in a collision. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth’s personal injury attorneys can help victims find doctors and pursue insurance claims. We offer free consultations. Call us today at 888-517-9888!