As a pedestrian, one of the major risks you face is getting hit by a car. There are many reasons that these accidents happen, from crossing into a vehicle’s path to a driver who’s too drunk to stop in time.
The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself, even if you have to walk from place to place. Here are three tips for staying safe as a pedestrian and reducing your risk of injury.
1. Cross at intersections
Though there is more traffic at intersections, they’re actually safer for pedestrians. Why? Drivers know to look for people crossing the road near stop lights.
Pedestrians also have the right of way in pedestrian crossing zones, whereas jaywalking means that the drivers have the right of way. If you’re hit anywhere other than an intersection, there is a risk that the driver won’t be held liable.
If you’re crossing in a crosswalk, walk to the right-hand side of the crosswalk to give drivers more time to stop.
2. Use sidewalks diligently
It’s always best to stay out of the path of traffic, and a sidewalk is a great place to do that. If you walk in the roadway, you’re much more likely to get hurt. In fact, the majority of accidents with pedestrians occur because they’re in the roadway. Stay safe, and stay on the right of a sidewalk, away from the roadway.
3. Be aware of your surroundings
Finally, be aware of your surroundings. There are always going to be drivers who do not pay attention and who put you at risk. Always look both ways and listen before you cross the road.
If you’re stepping out from behind parked cars or getting off a bus, it’s even more important to pay attention to what’s happening around you and to avoid stepping into traffic without looking first. If a driver is headed your way, make eye contact before you cross. Even if they are supposed to stop, they may not do so. Eye contact means that they see you, which helps improve your chances of avoiding injury.
Pedestrians deal with injuries every day as a result of drivers who do not stop for them. Drivers have to be aware of their surroundings and prepared for anyone who might cross into their paths. As a pedestrian, you can take steps to keep yourself safer and to help drivers avoid a collision.