Every day a child is told that he or she must look both ways before crossing the street. That timeless childhood lesson should be remembered by all of us. Accidents between vehicles and pedestrians often lead to serious injuries.
Check out this Pedestrian Safety and Pedestrian Accident Infographic we found HERE.
You can stay safe as a you walk by following these five safety suggestions:
- Increase your Visibility.
Whenever possible, wear clothing that does not blend in. Avoid dark colors at night time.
Reflective clothing has gotten much cheaper in recent years. Many companies make stylish and trendy alternatives. If you can’t quite afford reflective clothing like that, there are still many options. You can look at getting reflective strips which are often under 20$. (We found a reflective sash made by 3M on Amazon here, for example.)
If you can’t afford the latest in pedestrian safety gear, you can also carry a traditional flash-light.
In a pinch, your phone’s flash-light can help. Remember, using your phone as a flash-light can shorten the life of your camera flash.
- Watch your Step.
It’s hard to know just where too close is.
We all know that walking in front of a larger vehicle like a truck or a bus waiting at a stop light is dangerous. Walking too close means you are out of the driver’s line of sight. If a driver moves forward or turns without realizing you are right in front of them, you’re in trouble.
If you can see them, they can see you. Make sure you can see a driver’s face at all times.
Check out our graphic about pedestrian accident facts HERE.
- Stay Alert.
Do not text while you walk.
Talking on the phone or with a person can be as distracting on foot as it is in a vehicle. Try and limit these activities–especially at intersections.
If you have been drinking, you should avoid roads with many vehicles. Consider taking a cab.
- Use all your senses.
Avoid listening to music with earbuds as a pedestrian. Engine sounds and tire noise can help you determine when traffic is approaching. If you are crossing train tracks listen for the sounds of the crossbuck. If you are crossing by a common bus stop, listen for the sounds of an idling engine. Sudden changes in sound can warn you that something is approaching.
In parking lots, look for reverse lights on cars backing up. Make eye contact with drivers and get the go-ahead before crossing. In short, look both ways before crossing the street–just like when you were a child.
- Follow the Path.
If there is a sidewalk available, use it! Sidewalks are a great pedestrian safety innovation. They are far and away the safest place for you to walk.
Sometimes sidewalks are not always available. If this is the case, walk on the shoulder of the road facing traffic. That way you’ll be able to see if a vehicle is approaching you. You’ll have an easier time seeing what is going on.
A jaywalking ticket can be expensive, but that’s not why you should only cross at crosswalks. Crosswalks are placed (and timed) in order to maximize safety. Different lights are set for different time intervals depending on the flow of traffic in the area.
Do not jaywalk.
At crosswalks, be aware of the timing of the signals.
Walk only when the walk signal is visible, and do not try and “beat the clock” with flashing walk indicators.
Following these safety precautions should help you to avoid even the most serious of accidents. Never assume that drivers will follow the rules of the road. The most important pedestrian safety tip? Be alert.