Even though traffic safety is the responsibility of both drivers and pedestrians, those walking during a motor vehicle collision tend to be more seriously injured. Pedestrians can suffer broken bones, torn ligaments, head trauma or spinal cord damage no matter the size or speed of the vehicle. With this in mind, people crossing the street or jogging alongside it should take steps to improve their safety in all situations.
Whether you are walking through a parking garage to get from your car to the store, or you are crossing an intersection to complete the next leg of your household errands, everyone is a pedestrian at some point. According to data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 6,283 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2018. Facing the possibility of severe accidents, pedestrians should take every precaution possible to ensure a safe walk, run or jog. Here are five tips to remember about pedestrian safety:
- Stay visible: From wearing bright clothing to crossing the street at marked crosswalks, it is important to stay as visible as possible to the motor vehicles around you.
- Avoid distractions: The temptation to multitask while walking can be enticing. From eating and reading to sending a text and web-surfing, distracted walking can lead to serious accidents. Pedestrians can trip into traffic or step into a crosswalk when it is not clear.
- Make eye contact: While giving pedestrians the right-of-way at intersections is a traffic rule, drivers aren’t always paying attention. One safety tip pedestrians can follow is to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. This way you can ensure the driver sees you and is reacting appropriately.
- Use the sidewalk: Many streets have both sidewalks and bike lanes. Pedestrians might be tempted to walk along the bike lane to avoid a crowded walkway. When a sidewalk is available, you should always walk there.
- Don’t assume drivers can see you: Even if you follow every tip and do everything correctly, you should never assume the driver has seen you. Don’t assume it’s your turn to cross the street and when you do cross, keep your eyes on traffic at all times so you can react quickly.
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is wise to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney. You might be eligible to recover monetary damages for your injures and lost wages.