In the United States, there are over 7,485 pedestrian accidents last 2021. These accidents are often serious and sometimes fatal, leaving many people wounded and injured, as well as their families to deal with the aftermath, often for the rest of their lives.
Is this something you would like to prevent? Then keep reading, because today we’re sharing some basic safety tips that can help you stay safe as a pedestrian, making you less likely to become a statistic.
Keep reading to learn more.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Being aware of your surroundings is the cornerstone of pedestrian safety. By staying alert and fully present while walking, you can anticipate and react to potential hazards. Avoid distractions like smartphones or headphones that compromise your ability to hear or see approaching vehicles.
Keep your head up, scan your surroundings regularly, and take note of traffic patterns and signals. Maintaining a clear line of sight ensures you can identify potential dangers in advance, giving you more time to respond and take evasive action if necessary.
- Use Designated Crosswalks
These designated areas are specifically designed to ensure the safe passage of pedestrians across roadways. By utilizing crosswalks, you increase your visibility to drivers, as they expect pedestrians to be present in those locations.
Moreover, crosswalks often have traffic signals or pedestrian walk signals that regulate the flow of vehicles, allowing pedestrians to cross safely. By obeying these signals and utilizing crosswalks, you establish a clear right of way, minimizing the risk of collisions with vehicles.
- Make Eye Contact with Drivers
When crossing a street, making eye contact with the driver allows you to communicate your intention to cross and ensures that the driver has acknowledged your presence. This visual connection helps eliminate any potential misinterpretation or assumption. Never assume that a driver will stop or yield, even if you have the right of way.
By making eye contact, you can confirm that the driver has seen you and intends to give you the right of way. This simple action can prevent accidents and create a mutual understanding between pedestrians and drivers, promoting safer interactions on the road.
- Look Left, Right, and Left Again
The “Look Left, Right, and Left Again” rule is a fundamental guideline for pedestrian safety. Before crossing a street, it’s essential to scan for any approaching vehicles visually. Begin by looking left to check for traffic coming from that direction, then shift your attention to the right, and finally look left again.
This three-step process helps you identify vehicles that may be approaching from different directions, including turning vehicles or those entering the roadway. Continuously scan your surroundings as you cross the street to remain vigilant for any unexpected hazards.
- Wear Bright and Reflective Clothing
Wearing bright and reflective clothing is crucial to pedestrian safety, particularly in low-light conditions or areas with reduced visibility. By donning such attire, you enhance your visibility to drivers, allowing them to spot you from a greater distance. Bright colors like fluorescent yellow, orange, or green are highly effective at capturing attention.
Additionally, incorporating reflective elements into your clothing, such as reflective strips or patches, increases your visibility when illuminated by headlights. This added visibility reduces the chances of accidents caused by drivers failing to see pedestrians in time.
- Walk Against Traffic
Walking against traffic when sidewalks are unavailable is a crucial strategy for pedestrian safety. By walking on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic, you can see approaching vehicles and react promptly. This positioning allows you to assess the behavior of drivers.
You can observe any potential dangers and take necessary evasive actions. Stay as far away from the road as possible. Be on the shoulder or in designated pedestrian lanes if available.
- Obey Traffic Laws
Compliance with traffic laws is fundamental to pedestrian safety. Pedestrians must adhere to traffic regulations just as drivers do. These laws are designed to maintain order and cut the risk of accidents.
Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and yield the right of way when required. They should refrain from jaywalking or crossing against the signal are essential practices.
Respecting traffic laws fosters predictability and consistency on the road. This enables smoother interactions between pedestrians and drivers. It also enhances communication and mutual understanding between all road users.
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- Be Cautious at Intersections
Intersections are dynamic and potentially hazardous areas where vehicles and pedestrians converge. It is essential to approach them with heightened vigilance. Always be aware of turning vehicles, even if you have the right of way, as drivers may fail to yield or display inattentiveness.
Maintain a constant state of alertness and be prepared to react promptly if a driver acts unpredictably. Cross only when it is safe to do so, following pedestrian signals or traffic lights. Utilize designated crosswalks whenever available.
- Walk in Groups
Walking in groups can enhance your safety as a pedestrian. This is especially in areas with higher crime rates or inadequate pedestrian infrastructure. When you walk with others, there is a collective sense of security and vigilance.
Criminals are less likely to target a group of individuals compared to a lone pedestrian. Walking in a group also allows for increased awareness of your surroundings. Multiple sets of eyes can watch out for potential dangers or suspicious activities.
Moreover, having companions nearby provides immediate support and assistance in an emergency or unexpected situation. Also, consider informing a friend or family member about your intended route and estimated time of arrival.
Take note though that no matter what you do to protect yourself and stay away from accidents, it can happen. With that, make sure you know your rights after a crash.
Avoid Pedestrian Accidents Today
Pedestrians must remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings in order to stay safe. Follow these tips to avoid accidents and remain safe while walking. Strive to become a defensive pedestrian and decrease your chances of becoming a victim of an accident.
Be sure to review safety advice regularly to stay up-to-date on the safest habits. With these tips in mind, have a safe and enjoyable walk!
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