Although walking can be a great form of exercise and an easy way to navigate heavily congested areas, it can also be unsafe. Unlike motorists who have some form of protection, pedestrians are much more vulnerable in an accident. This is why injuries are often more severe or life-threatening when a pedestrian is hit by a car.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
One of the disadvantages that pedestrians have is that they aren’t always visible to motorists. This lack of visibility becomes a serious risk when crossing intersections, roads or alleyways. One tip for staying safe while walking is to avoid blind spots. For instance, walking in between parked cars to get across the street or walking behind a larger vehicle when it’s backing up puts the pedestrian in dangerous blind spots, which can lead to being struck.
A second tip is to avoid distractions, such as texting or talking on a phone. Just as motorists can get distracted while driving, so can pedestrians while walking. Additionally, pedestrians may be more aware of their surroundings when they don’t wear headphones.
Another tip is always use the sidewalk when it’s available. If not, walk on a shoulder and if there isn’t one, stay as far to the right as possible. Pedestrians should also walk facing traffic. This way the person can observe any potential dangers.
Although lights and signals are in place to direct both vehicles and walkers, it should never be assumed that others are going to obey traffic signals. This tip applies to other assumptions that pedestrians should never make, such as that a vehicle will stop or yield the right-of-way, or that a driver sees them. When crossing any type of road, always look left, right and then left again. Also be aware of any vehicles that are turning.
Finally, walking will of course be safer if the person isn’t impaired. When under the influence of alcohol or drugs, there is a higher risk of being struck.
Any pedestrians who are injured as a result of a driver’s negligence can pursue a claim against that driver to recover compensation for damages. Consulting with an attorney is a good place to start evaluating a claim for damages when in a pedestrian accident.