Road safety doesn’t just apply to vehicle users. Pedestrians also share the responsibility of keeping themselves and other road users safe from harm’s way. In 2017, traffic crashes killed almost 6,000 pedestrians in the United States, and a further 137,000 were treated for non-fatal injuries.
While the Federal Highway Administration works to increase pedestrian safety wherever possible, it is still important to take full responsibility for you and your family’s safety when you’re on the road. Let’s take a closer look at 8 pedestrian safety tips that can help ensure you and your family make it from A to B incident-free.
Put Your Phone Away
People spend an ever-increasing amount of time on their phones. Sending a text message, playing a game, or checking your social media feed is just as dangerous for a pedestrian as it is a driver. Whenever you’re aware of what’s happening on your phone screen, you’re not aware of what’s going on in your environment.
Take Your Headphones Out
It’s nice to be immersed in your favorite music when you’re out taking a stroll, but when that stroll involves busy roads its not the time. If you are going to listen to music or audiobooks when you’re out walking, then make sure it’s at a level low enough for you to hear traffic, car horns, bicycle bells, and anyone trying to get your attention.
Face the Traffic
If there’s no sidewalk or the sidewalk is exceptionally narrow, then you should always walk so that you’re on the side facing oncoming traffic. In North America, this means that you walk on the left. It should be obvious, but by facing traffic it gives you the opportunity to see cars coming and more time to move out of the way if you have to.
Whether you’re out walking during the day time or at night, you should always make sure you’re as visible as possible. Wear bright clothing during the day, and make sure you have a reflective vest on at night. Drivers are not always expecting to be sharing the road with pedestrians -especially at night- so make sure they can see you.
Always Cross Safely
You were probably told to look both ways when you were a kid, and that’s sterling advice. You should always cross using a pedestrian crossing when available, and if you’re crossing at an intersection, then make sure you cross when the light is green. Be aware that the light can change at any time so stay alert.
Don’t Walk Drunk
When people hear about alcohol being involved in traffic accidents they probably imagine drivers who have been out drinking. However, of all the traffic crashes involving alcohol resulting in pedestrian casualties, 34 percent of the time the drinking was on the part of the pedestrian.
Follow These Pedestrian Safety Tips to Stay Safe
We’re born with our two feet so it’s easy to get complacent when we’re out walking, but when we’re near roads, it’s important to keep these eight pedestrian safety tips in mind. Always be aware of your surroundings and stay safe.
For more information and advice on staying safe whether you’re in the home or out and about, take a look at the rest of our site.