While walking around may seem like no big deal, it may actually be dangerous at times. Whether you are taking a leisurely stroll, jogging, walking your dog or going for a quick errand, you should always be alert. If a motor vehicle hits you while walking, you could sustain severe or deadly injuries.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 5,376 pedestrians died in 2015. But walking is often convenient, good for your health and beneficial for the environment. Here are some guidelines to adhere to as a pedestrian to try to stay safe.
1. Only walk in safe areas
To protect your safety while walking, be sure to walk in safe places. This includes:
- Using pedestrian crosswalks, tunnels or bridges to cross the street
- Walking on sidewalks whenever possible
- Facing traffic on the left side of the road when there is no sidewalk
- Never diagonally crossing intersections
- Avoiding walking in the dark, but when necessary, staying in well-lit areas
While an out-of-control driver may still hit you, these tips could help reduce the likelihood of accidents.
2. Say no to distractions
Texting and walking may not seem like a big deal, but it may be a matter of life and death. Common pedestrian distractions include using earbuds to listen to music, talking on the phone, taking pictures, using mobile apps or reading. Always pay attention so you do not unknowingly put yourself in a dangerous situation.
Of course, you can only control your own level of attentiveness, not that of others. Distraction by drivers can pose major dangers to pedestrians. So, how attentive drivers are out on the roads is an incredibly important pedestrian safety issue.
3. Be seen
One of the best methods for avoiding a pedestrian accident is making sure motorists see you. You can increase your visibility to drivers by staying in well-lit places, wearing bright clothing and making eye contact with drivers.
These steps could help protect your safety while walking near roadways. Do not assume every walk is a safe “walk in the park.”