In the good old days of the past, it was safe for a pedestrian to cross the street. Even if a horse was coming at you, there was a lot more time to evade disaster, and there was less chance that you’d suffer a catastrophic injury.
Fast forward a couple hundred years and it’s impossible to avoid the danger of getting hit by a car. Even worse, pedestrians don’t stand a chance in terms of injuries when they’re hit by a multi-ton car. As such, every time you take to the road on your feet, it’s important to be careful.
How to stay careful and avoid injury as a pedestrian
There are a few things that pedestrians can do to stay safe while they’re on the road. By doing these four simple things, according to the U.S. Centers’ for Disease Control and Prevention, you stand a good chance of avoiding injury as a pedestrian:
1. Only use crosswalks or intersections to cross the street
Pedestrian accidents are less likely to happen at a crosswalk because vehicles are looking out for you. Also, if an accident does happen, you’re more likely to have a viable personal injury claim you can pursue if a car hits you while you’re lawfully crossing at a designated pedestrian crosswalk. Even if you have to walk a block in order to arrive at a safe crosswalk or intersection, it’s worth the extra time and effort in terms of safety.
2. Wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight
When you’re walking at night, you’re a lot less visible than the vehicles you’re sharing the road with. Cars have headlights, and, hopefully, the bikes have headlights, too. But pedestrians might be virtually invisible — especially if they’re wearing dark clothing. By wearing a reflective vest, reflective clothing or a flashlight, cars will have a better chance of avoiding you.
3. As a pedestrian walk on the sidewalk
If there’s a sidewalk, always use it. Cars expect pedestrians to be on sidewalks and since they’re set off from the road, you’re exponentially safer on the sidewalk — where cars are not permitted to drive. If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk off to the side of the road as far as you possibly can, and if the road doesn’t feel safe, find an alternate route.
4. Keep your cellphone in your pocket
Electronic devices will distract you and make you less alert at a time when your life depends on being attentive. Keep your cellphone in your pocket and pay attention to where you’re walking. Do you think you can follow this simple advice? In addition to the above, you’ll also want to follow the rules of the road and learn as much as you can about your legal rights as a pedestrian.