The rules of the road give pedestrians the right of way in most circumstances. Nonetheless, pedestrians must practice safety while walking.
Why several municipalities installed red-light cameras continues as a topic of discussion. Nonetheless, most individuals have watched at least one driver run a red light.
When pedestrians see the signal light show the person, it tells them that they can walk across the intersection. However, pedestrians cannot make assumptions about the vehicles around them.
Pedestrian and vehicle accident-related data fluctuates. In 2019, the number of pedestrians who lost their lives in a vehicle accident dropped. However, the number increased in 2020.
Preliminary data from the State Highway Safety Offices shows that 6,721 pedestrians lost their lives in car collisions during 2020. That’s a jump of 300 fatalities from 2019.
One way to avoid becoming involved in a traffic accident is to cross at designated crosswalks.
Let’s look at seven walking safety rules of the road for pedestrians.
1. Look Right, Left, and Right Again
In school, you may have learned to look right, left, and right again before crossing the street. Looking both ways helps pedestrians spot oncoming traffic.
Looking right again ensures that no vehicle is coming upon you as you cross.
This article emphasizes that pedestrians have the right of way in most road circumstances. Nonetheless, fatalities still occur for several reasons.
Drivers have a legal responsibility to keep pedestrians safe. Pedestrians struck by a vehicle can contact a car accident attorney to file a case. The attorneys at JT Legal Group have the experience to help.
2. Wait for Vehicles to Yield the Right of Way
To remain safe while strolling, wait for vehicles to yield the right of way completely.
Sometimes they don’t see pedestrians. Other times they don’t realize that they have to stop.
In some situations, a driver approaches an intersection at a fast speed. It’s not safe for pedestrians to make assumptions about the driver. You don’t know why they approached the intersection so fast.
Thus, wait the extra seconds to ensure that the driver sees you, comes to a complete stop, and signals for you to cross.
3. Understand the Road Signs
Road signs for pedestrians exist too. Some you may encounter on a stroll include:
- No Entry
- Pedestrians to the right
- No pedestrian crossing
- Sidewalk closed
These signs tell pedestrians where they can and cannot walk.
Pedestrians share some blame for fatalities and accidents. Distracted walking exists too.
To avoid an accident, understand the road signs that you encounter.
4. Remain on the Sidewalks
When you walk long enough, you will encounter stretches that have no sidewalks. Therefore, pedestrians must make choices.
If the sidewalk runs out, you can turn around and find a different street. You can attempt to keep walking if no traffic is going by.
To stay safe, it’s best to turn around and find a different street. Of course, this poses an inconvenience. However, it’s better than finding yourself in the middle of a vehicle collision.
5. Cross Streets at Designed Crosswalks
Sometimes crossing at designated crosswalks is not convenient. In cities like Los Angeles, blocks can stretch nearly a mile before encountering a crosswalk.
The same is true in rural areas.
For your safety, it’s best to cross at intersections. They have stop and yield-to-pedestrian signs. Plus, most designated crosswalks have stoplights.
6. Never Run into Traffic
When children spot something, they focus on the object and only the object. Thus, parents must prevent kids from running into traffic.
Adults should never run into traffic either.
It sounds obvious, but things happen while walking. For example, during high winds, the wind might blow your favorite hat off your head and into the roads. It’s tempting to run after it.
If you can’t part with it, wait for traffic to clear up. Then, catch up to the hat.
7. Map Your Route Beforehand
Pedestrians can keep themselves safe while walking by knowing their route before heading out.
Google Maps has improved its service so well that it can point out traffic jams, road construction sites, and blocked streets.
Optimizing your route helps you avoid situations that decrease your safety as a pedestrian.
Everyone who uses the roads has a responsibility to each other. Safety must remain the priority. Since pedestrians remain exposed to the elements and vehicles, drivers must pay extra careful attention to them, even when they make a mistake.