Walking is an excellent form of exercise, but it also carries risks. With more cars crowding our roads each year, knowing how to safely share the road with other motorists as a pedestrian is important.
In a ten-year period, over 7,500 pedestrians were killed by vehicles in California, and the state’s fatality rate is 25% higher than the national average. Whether you’re walking along a busy street or crossing the road at an intersection, you can follow several safety tips to reduce your risk of harm.
1. Be visible
Wear bright or reflective clothing, especially if you’ll be walking at night or in low-light conditions. This will make it easier for drivers to see you and reduce the risk of accidents.
2. Use marked crosswalks
Always use marked crosswalks when crossing the street. Look both ways before crossing, and pay attention to traffic signals.
3. Avoid distractions
Don’t use your phone or other electronic devices while walking. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.
4. Walk on sidewalks
Whenever possible, walk on sidewalks or designated pedestrian paths. If there are no available sidewalks, walk facing traffic and stay as far to the side of the road as possible.
5. Watch for turning vehicles
Be cautious around intersections and driveways, especially when vehicles are turning. Before crossing, make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you.
6. Follow traffic laws
Just like drivers, pedestrians must follow traffic laws, including obeying traffic signals, crossing at crosswalks, and walking on the right side of the road.
7. Don’t assume drivers see you
Even if you have the right of way, don’t assume drivers see you. Stay alert and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.
By following these safety tips, pedestrians can reduce their risk of accidents and injuries when sharing the road with vehicles. However, even if you follow all safety tips, there is a chance of being hit by a negligent driver. If it does, you may be able to receive payment for your medical expenses and lost wages through a legal claim.