Pedestrian injuries and fatalities are high in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 7,388 pedestrians were killed and 60,000 injured nationwide in 2021. These are alarming statistics.
This guide discusses four pedestrian safety tips:
1. Use sidewalks
Well-maintained and designed sidewalks increase pedestrian safety. Walking along the roadway can be dangerous. If you are walking on a road without a sidewalk, walk toward oncoming traffic, but you should be as far from the traffic as possible.
When you face oncoming traffic, you can use your eyes and ears to respond. When a vehicle approaches you from behind, you only rely on your ears to know it’s coming.
You should be extra careful when walking around a sharp curve or at the brow of a hill on a road.
2. Cross at crosswalks or intersections
A crosswalk is designated for pedestrian crossing. Pedestrians also have the right of way in unmarked crosswalks at intersections. Drivers should slow down at these locations, allowing pedestrians to cross safely.
If a crosswalk or an intersection is unavailable, find a well-lit area where you can see traffic clearly, wait for a safe gap and cross while still observing traffic.
3. Follow the rules of the road
Pedestrians should follow the rules of the road. For example, they should obey pedestrian signals and not cross early or late.
4. Avoid alcohol when going for a walk
Alcohol is as dangerous to a pedestrian as it is to a driver. It can impair your vision, hearing and judgment. Besides, alcohol leads to poor coordination. These effects can increase the chances of making a serious mistake on the road.
If a driver hits you despite you observing pedestrian safety tips, you should get legal help to protect your rights.