5 Tips for Better Pedestrian Safety

Think pedestrians always have the right-of-way? Think again! Pedestrians only have the legal right-of-way when they’re passing through controlled intersections and marked crosswalks. Even then, it’s important to do your part as a pedestrian to stay safe and avoid accidents. Every pedestrian—whether you’re young or old; able-bodied or living with a disability—can benefit from the following safety tips.

Stay Visible

When you’re walking around at night or in bad weather, it’s important to make yourself visible to drivers. You can increase your visibility by wearing light, bright colors or reflective clothing at night, and by sticking to well-lit areas. You might also consider carrying a flashlight or using your phone’s flashlight to illuminate your path.

Unplug from Distractions

You can reduce the risk of accidents by staying alert and aware of your environment at all times. Avoid texting or using your phone while you’re walking, especially when you’re crossing the street. Headphones can also keep you distracted from sounds that could potentially signal danger, so try to forgo them as often as possible.

Stay Inside the Lines

When you stay in safe places where pedestrians are meant to walk, you are much less likely to take a driver by surprise. Always use designated crosswalks when you’re crossing the street, wait for the walk signal, and stay inside the guidelines while crossing. You should also stick to the sidewalks or walk on the shoulder facing traffic when sidewalks aren’t available.

Don’t Cut Corners

It may be tempting to veer outside of the crosswalk lines and cut through, but the risk of injury isn’t worth the small distance you’ll shave off your trip. Similarly, you should avoid jaywalking, because you can’t assume that approaching vehicles will see you and stop in time to prevent an accident. For the same reasons, it’s important not to dart between parked cars or cross behind or in front of large vehicles like buses and trucks.

Be Cautious

You may have the right-of-way in many situations, but you can’t always assume that a driver will give you the right-of-way. Remember to look both ways, and try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. Kids under the age of 10 should generally be accompanied by an adult when they’re crossing the street.

Of course, it’s important to teach children about pedestrian safety at an early age. At the law office of Pérez Halpern LLC, we are committed to holding reckless drivers accountable for their actions on the road—and helping injured pedestrians recover compensation for their losses. If you’ve been injured in a vehicle-related collision, contact our personal injury lawyers for skilled and compassionate legal representation.

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