Injuries to drivers and passengers involved in car accidents have actually
been dropping slightly in recent years. However, one often-overlooked
group has actually dramatically increased in car accident injuries, and
done so at a rate far greater than any other demographic: pedestrians.
Believe it or not, one of the most dangerous places to be during a car
accident isn’t even in a car involved. Walking is a great way to
get from place to place, get good exercise, and more, but walking near
fast-moving traffic presents a huge risk of danger, which means pedestrians
should always take a few extra precautions to avoid getting hurt. Here
are a few safety tips for pedestrians to help keep these vulnerable road
One of the biggest reasons pedestrians are struck by cars is that they
can’t be seen clearly by drivers until it’s too late. Therefore,
making the extra effort to be visible, especially in low-light areas or
at night, can go a long way towards keeping you safe.
Wear light-colored clothing. Bright colors like yellow, orange, green, or even white stand out far
better than black, especially at night. If you don’t have much control
over what you’re wearing, consider getting a brightly colored safety
vest that you can put on while walking and then remove when you’re
done. Reflective materials are also a good idea, as they grab a driver’s
attention much easier.
Carry a flashlight. Being able to see where you’re going can help you avoid accidentally
walking out into the street or tripping over a hazard. It also makes you
more visible to those around you.
Only cross at crosswalks in well-lit areas. Crosswalks are generally lit with street lights to help drivers see anyone
who might be crossing. Walking across the street in an unlit area without
a crosswalk is a recipe for disaster.
Don’t cross from between bushes, hedges, parked cars, or other obstacles, as they inhibit other drivers from being able to see you well in advance.
Much of pedestrian safety simply comes from making good decisions while walking.
Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic so can avoid any upcoming vehicles.
Stay sober. Impaired walking is less dangerous than impaired driving, but it still
dramatically increases your chances of being struck, especially if walking
straight is difficult.
Never assume vehicles will stop for you. Make eye contact if you have to cross the street. If a driver has their
eyes down looking at their cell phone,
do not step in front of them, as they may not know you’re walking off the curb.
Don’t wear headphones. Many pedestrians like to listen to music to pass the time as they go from
place to place, however headphones severely limit your ability to listen
to the world around you and pick up that something bad might be happening.
If you want to listen to music, use a normal speaker or keep one ear open.
Similarly, don’t talk on the phone while walking near a large road,
as you might make a mistake and step in front of a car.
You can never be too sure that it’s safe to cross the street. Stepping
in front of traffic presents a huge risk, even if at first glance things
Only cross at crosswalks. This has been mentioned before, but it’s worth repeating: jaywalking,
or crossing when there is no crosswalk present, is exceedingly dangerous
and should never be attempted.
Look both ways. Left first (at oncoming traffic), then right (at traffic on the other
side of the road), and then left a final time (to make sure nothing is
coming immediately). Do this before stepping off the curb.
Obey traffic signals. Your crosswalk should have “walk”/“don’t walk”
indicators. Obey them. They will tell you when it is safe to cross. If
your crosswalk doesn’t have these, wait until the light turns green.
Watch for turning vehicles. Make eye contact with any vehicles who may be waiting to turn in front
of you. Should the light turn green, they may proceed without knowing
you’re also waiting. If you don’t see them see you, then don’t
step in front of them.
Look across all lanes before crossing. Just because the driver in the lane nearest to you has stopped does not
mean the drivers in the lanes further out will do the same.
If you have been injured as a pedestrian, speak with a Hudson Valley car
accident lawyer as soon as possible! Get powerful, qualified representation
with nearly 85 years of experience by
calling Mainetti, Mainetti & O’Connor today at 945-340-4878.