In most highly-trafficked cities, there will undoubtedly be pedestrians walking on the street. Pedestrians are considered to be anyone walking and not utilizing a motorized vehicle or bicycle. And, because of their lack of protection from the dangers of the road, pedestrian accidents are known to be more severe and deadly than most other accidents between vehicles. According to the New York Times, pedestrian accidents are becoming more frequent and deadly, with 6,700 pedestrians killed in 2020, and the number rising in subsequent years. In this blog, we will look at how to avoid becoming a pedestrian accident statistic, and the small steps you can take to navigate the busy streets as safely as possible.
As long as sidewalks are present, it is imperative that you utilize them as a pedestrian. They are built specifically for pedestrian safety to prevent accidents, and not using them may make you liable in the event that an accident occurs. Even if the sidewalk is crowded or there are other obstacles in your way, it is always better to stay on the designated walking area rather than take your chances on the open road where drivers are far less likely to anticipate coming face-to-face with a pedestrian.
Abide By Street Signs
Stop signs, crosswalk indicators, stoplights, and even construction zones, all guide and influence a pedestrian on their walk. If these signs are not abided by, the pedestrian is at risk of colliding with an oncoming vehicle. According to a pedestrian study conducted by Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Shoenberger, pedestrian accidents are often the result of driver error. While you can’t control the other drivers, you can use this knowledge to remind you that your best chance against injury and/or fatality is your own alertness on the street. Respecting the street signs is a strong step in that direction.
Avoid Being On Your Phone
Being on your phone has shown to minimize a pedestrian’s overall safety, by prompting them to cross roads unsafely, trip and fall, or walk into oncoming traffic. Remaining alert by eliminating distractions, like being on your phone, goes beyond pedestrian accident safety, especially for women. Distracted pedestrians are often targeted when walking alone, and you can make yourself vulnerable to dangerous situations.
Make Yourself Visible
Like we said, you can’t rely on other drivers to be paying attention at all times. Never expect that someone sees you because you think they can because they may not, which can result in a tragic accident. To avoid this, what you should do is try to make yourself as obvious as possible so that you might catch the attention of a driver that may not have seen you otherwise. The Tufts Department of Public Safety notes that it’s best to wear bright colors during both the day and night, reflective clothing at night, and carry some form of flashlight for dark areas. Making these small adjustments when walking can make you noticeable, keep you safe, and make you feel more comfortable as a pedestrian. As mentioned by the car accident lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices, in a big city, not all who drive pay attention, so keeping yourself safe is also your responsibility.