Pedestrians and drivers alike need to understand what it takes to promote safety. According to the National Safety Council, 17 percent of all traffic deaths in 2019 were pedestrians.
Walking near traffic brings inherent risks. However, there are steps you can take to lower your chances of getting into an accident as a pedestrian. See below to learn more.
Stick to sidewalks
Sidewalks are the safest place to walk for pedestrians. Use them whenever you can. However, there are situations when you may have to walk on the road. In this case, walk so that you face oncoming traffic. This gives you more visibility as motor vehicles drive towards you.
Unfortunately, drivers do not always stay completely alert. Keep your vision clear, and do not take your eyes off the road. Try to make direct eye contact with drivers to confirm they see you on the road.
Cross at designated areas
Jaywalkers experience the most traffic injuries. Whenever possible, use crosswalks and stoplights to cross a road, especially in heavy traffic areas.
Make yourself visible
Sometimes motorists cannot see you, even if you think your presence is noticeable. When you walk at night, do not wear dark clothing. Carry a flashlight with you and wear reflective clothing to be extra safe.
Exhibit extra caution in parking lots
Parking lots are dangerous places for pedestrians. Be especially alert for cars driving in reverse, which may be less attentive.
Motorists do not always pay attention to pedestrians on the road. Though you have the right of way in most scenarios, you still need to heed common sense and practice caution when walking in a heavy traffic area.