Drivers and pedestrians alike are obligated to follow the rules of the road, as well as keep themselves and others around them safe. Unfortunately, many pedestrian accidents, injuries, and deaths involve collisions with motor vehicles.
Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than vehicle occupants to be killed in a car accident on each trip. According to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States, which averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every two hours. Furthermore, over 150,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal traffic-related injuries that same year.
Here are some useful tips and guidelines to follow:
MAINTAIN PROPER VISIBILITY
Ensure that you are visible to drivers at all times and establish eye contact with them, if possible. This is especially important in the evenings, in low-light conditions such as dawn or dusk, as well as in inclement weather. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32% of all pedestrian fatalities happen between 8 PM and 11:59 PM
Wear lightly colored or reflective clothing at night and brightly, vibrant colored clothing during the day. Walk through well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street. You could also carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.
OBEY THE RULES
You must know and follow all traffic laws, signs and signals. In addition, you must be aware of the rules vehicles around you need to abide by, in order to properly anticipate driver actions. Remember, never assume that the driver will give you the right of way.
WALK IN SAFE AREAS
Stay on sidewalks whenever possible. If a sidewalk is unavailable, walk on the far side of the road facing traffic.
When crossing the street, only use crosswalks. If a crosswalk is not available, find a well-lit spot on the road and wait for a long enough gap in traffic to cross safely.
DO NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL
Nearly half of all collisions resulting in pedestrian fatalities involve alcohol consumption. What’s surprising is that 34% of that total was due to the pedestrian being intoxicated. Alcohol impairs your physical reflexes and your decision-making capabilities, just as much as on your feet as it does behind the steering wheel.