Pedestrians crossing intersections on foot or walking beside a road are vulnerable to accidents. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, over 4,500 pedestrian fatalities occur each year.
Pedestrians are easy to overlook, especially when they are in locations where motorists don’t expect to see them. Like drivers, pedestrians also have to follow certain rules to make sure they keep themselves safe. Here are five ways pedestrians can reduce the risk of accidents.
1. Walk in safe places
As a pedestrian, you need to use sidewalks, crosswalks, tunnels and bridges designated for your use.
If you want to cross the road safely, it is best to do so at a crosswalk. You need to obey traffic-control devices and signs and stay to the right-hand side of crosswalks when you can. Even if you have to go out of your way to use a crosswalk, you should do so because drivers are required to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
For a pedestrian accidents FAQ, visit the website of Kaufman & Lynd, attorneys in Orlando. This article will give you more insight into issues such as who is at fault and what to do when filing a claim for injuries. The more details you give an attorney, the easier it is to assess a claim and give advice on what actions to take.
2. Don’t expect drivers to see you
If you automatically think that a driver has seen you, you may start crossing a road and find out you were wrong. Many auto-pedestrian accidents occur at night when pedestrians are less visible. Try to be as visible as possible at night by wearing reflective clothing and carrying a light. Remain in well-lit areas if possible so there is more visibility.
Whenever a sidewalk is available, you should use it. When there is no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic so you can see oncoming cars and whether a driver is driving erratically.
3. Stay alert and aware
Avoid using headphones or a cell phone when you’re in a vulnerable situation. This can prevent you from hearing approaching traffic or seeing when a driver is in danger of hitting you.
Drivers often do not pay as much attention as they should. A driver may also be distracted by a smartphone or even be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
It is your responsibility to make sure that traffic stops before you cross an intersection, even if you do have right of way. You need to pay attention to the behavior of motorists at all times.
4. Avoid consuming alcohol
Many pedestrian-related auto accidents involve the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol is known to impair your ability to make responsible decisions. Just as drivers should not drink and drive, you should not drink and walk in areas where traffic is heavy.
If you behave irresponsibly while under the influence of alcohol and end up being hit by a vehicle, the accident is your fault.
5. Walk with your children and teach them the rules
Never allow young children to walk to school alone. If you want your children to get to the point where they can walk alone, walk with them until you are sure they are ready. Teach them the safety rules, such as how to cross a road properly.
Make it clear to them that they must always check both ways for traffic and be aware of drivers who may ignore the rules or simply not be paying attention. Despite the fact that speed limits are lower around schools and there are crossing guards, drivers still take risks.