Pedestrian Safety

by RyanD on January 4, 2013

Walking, biking, taking the bus to work, school or play is becoming more and more popular, resulting in increased foot traffic. We’re also living in a world full of constant distractions. This is why it’s more important than ever for pedestrians to take the initiative and exercise caution to remain safe.

Following are a few tips to help pedestrians stay safe while enjoying their walk:

Eye Contact
Drivers and cyclists have a lot to be aware of. Other drivers, traffic lights, and weather can preoccupy their attention. For this reason, it’s very important to make eye contact with cyclists and drivers before stepping off the sidewalk. Only begin to cross the street when you know the driver has seen you and is going to yield or stop so you can safely cross in front of them.

Emergency Vehicles
Yield to all emergency vehicles when attempting to cross the street. If you are in the middle of the street and an emergency vehicle is approaching with its lights on, hurry across the street in the same direction that you are already heading. If you have just begun to cross when you see the emergency vehicle go back to the sidewalk you just left. When there is an emergency vehicle approaching with its lights on, be aware that motorists and other moving vehicles will be attempting to move to the side of the road. Avoid becoming part of the emergency by paying attention to the traffic around you and doing what you can to stay safe.

Walking At Night
When walking at night, try to wear bright clothing that can be seen easily in the dark. Clothing with reflective surfaces or wearing a small light will also increase your visibility. Accessories for walking at night can be found at most athletic wear and sports stores.

Cross Safely
Do not cross in the middle of the street or cross against the light. Whenever possible, cross where cyclists and motorists expect pedestrians to cross; use crosswalks, walk with the signal, and cross at corners.

No Sidewalk
On roads without a sidewalk, walk facing traffic. You will be able to see if you need to move farther away from the road to give yourself a larger buffer from on-coming traffic. Facing traffic while you are walking puts you more in control if you need to react quickly.

Avoid becoming distracted while walking. Checking e-mail, texting or surfing the web while crossing the street is dangerous. It’s important to your safety to have your eyes up, scanning for potential hazards. If you need to send a message or check a map, it’s better to find a place where you are out of harms way before switching your attention from walking. Do not stop in the middle of the road to answer your phone or send and read text messages. Drivers expect that pedestrians are going to continue moving through a crossing and stopping is the middle of a road is very dangerous.

Walking can be an enjoyable way to spend time with family and friends, commuting or exercising. Remaining safe on your walk is simple, and will benefit yourself as well as those around you.

Byline: Ryan D knows how hazardous pedestrian accidents can be and hence suggests finding a lawyer if you ever find yourself in one.




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