While there are simple steps to reduce the risk of injury while walking on the streets, the pedestrian fatality rate in the United States is high. Did you know that every year in America, more than six thousand pedestrians lose their lives? One may consider road safety to be a matter of common sense and may underestimate its importance. However, it is easy to get distracted by other things when you are out near the roads. If you lose track of your surroundings, you put yourself at the mercy of the drivers on the road. Most of us are pedestrians at some point in the day. To protect yourself and your loved ones when you are walking down a lane, there are some rules that you need to follow. This article will help you learn different rules and tips to ensure your safety when you are walking. In addition to this, you’ll discover ways to prevent situations that can lead to pedestrian injuries and even death.
1. Pay Attention
Many people, out of habit, use their cell phones even when they are walking. The lack of attention puts them at the risk of being in an accident. You must not let your devices distract you from the things happening in your surroundings. Quite often, people find themselves in harm’s way after walking straight through a construction zone on the roadside. A large number of people lose their lives because of debris falling from sites overhead. In addition to this, some people and most kids forget to look both ways before crossing the street. Even though the pedestrian signal is on, you must always be extra careful on crossings. It is possible that an unaware driver forgets to apply their brakes while you are crossing a dark street. You can greatly reduce your risk of being in an accident just by being alert at all times and paying attention.
2. Act Predictably
A large number of accidents happen due to pedestrians suddenly deciding to cross the road. Without giving prior warning or signal to the cars behind them, pedestrians must not make sudden actions. You must follow the signs and signals when you are walking. Being predictable for other drivers reduces your chances of being in a pedestrian accident and unknowingly coming in the way of a speeding vehicle. If you’re walking on a road where there are no footpaths, it is safer to walk facing the traffic. In addition to this, you must walk a good distance from the traffic. With that said, always cross the streets at crosswalks. This is where drivers expect pedestrians to be. If you decide to cross a road where there are no intersections, you might put your life at risk.
3. Be Visible
Most pedestrian accidents tend to occur during dark hours. The reduced visibility at night makes it difficult for pedestrians to be noticed by vehicle drivers. In addition to this, if the streets aren’t well-lit, people can hardly be spotted. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), you must choose an illuminated area to cross the streets to have better visibility of the traffic and be easily noticed by the drivers. Wearing bright colors can help you get noticed easily. However, if you have no choice other than to cross a dark street, make use of your cellphone’s torch to make yourself noticed by the drivers.
4. Be Cautious
A pedestrian must never assume that an approaching vehicle is aware of their presence. It is best to make eye contact with the drivers of the oncoming vehicles to make sure that they’ve seen you. With that said, you should wait for a clear gap in traffic before crossing the road. Once you have got enough time to cross the road, be on the lookout for incoming cars. You must continue watching the road as you cross it. In addition to this, you must stay careful when vehicles are getting in or out of driveways and parking lots. With proper precautions, you’ll reduce your chances of being injured in a road accident.
There are many risks to be wary of when you are out walking. Being careful of your surroundings must be your priority as a pedestrian. You must be alert and attentive while crossing roads. In addition to this, try being visible to the drivers when you’re walking. Make use of a flashlight if you’re walking down a dark street. If possible, only use crossings that are well-lit. Wearing bright-colored clothes and having reflective materials can reduce the chances of accidents at night. With that said, avoid walking alone near traffic if you’re intoxicated. Impaired senses and lack of judgment can be dangerous on the road. It is better to be cautious than sorry.