Pedestrian Safety: 7 Tips for Avoiding Accidents

yield to pedestrians sign

In bustling urban cities and quiet suburban neighborhoods alike, pedestrian safety remains a serious concern. Pedestrians share the road with vehicles of varying sizes and speeds, increasing the risk of pedestrian accidents. In 2021, there were a total of 7,388 pedestrian deaths in the United States. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), pedestrian accidents account for 17% of all traffic fatalities. Additionally, pedestrian deaths increased by 13% from 2020.

It’s essential to take proactive measures to stay safe on the roads. Stay safe while walking by keeping the following pedestrian safety tips in mind.


Be Visible

Pedestrian accidents often occur due to low visibility, especially during the darker hours of the day or in adverse weather conditions. Here are some tips to stay visible:

  • Use hand signals to indicate your intentions to drivers.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Walk in well-lit areas during the night.
  • Carry a flashlight when walking in dimly lit places.


Wear Bright and Reflective Clothing

One of the simplest and most effective ways to make it easier for divers to see you is to wear bright and reflective materials and clothing. Doing so can significantly increase the chances of drivers sporting you from a distance, giving them more time to slow down or make necessary maneuvers to avoid accidents.

Brightly colored jackets, vests, or gear can make a substantial difference in increasing your visibility while walking near roadways or approaching oncoming traffic. Remember, being visible to drivers is the first step toward preventing pedestrian accidents.


Avoid Distractions and Stay Alert

pedestrians using cell phones

In today’s fast-paced world, distractions are all around us. Whether you’re walking in a busy city or a quiet neighborhood, it’s crucial to stay focused and alert while on foot. Avoid cell phone use or listening to music at high volumes as it may prevent you from hearing oncoming vehicles or sirens.

Keep your eyes on the road, be aware of your surroundings, walk facing traffic, and use designated pedestrian cross streets whenever possible. By being vigilant and distraction-free, you’ll be better equipped to react quickly and avoid potential accidents.


Cross in Safe Places

When it comes to crossing roads, choosing the right location is essential for pedestrian safety. Always use marked crosswalks and pedestrian cross streets, as these designated areas are designed to give pedestrians the right of way. Look for traffic signals or pedestrian crossing signs to indicate when it’s safe to cross.

Be patient and wait for a gap in traffic if there are no crosswalks available. Be vigilant when you cross the street or walk between parked cars. In residential neighborhoods and parking lots, it’s important to look for cars entering and exiting driveways.


Avoid Walking Under the Influence

Walking while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only unsafe but can also be illegal in some jurisdictions. California Penal Code 647 states that it is a crime to be under the influence in public if you’re unable to care for your safety or if you obstruct a public sideway or street. Intoxication impairs your judgment, balance, and reaction time, making you more susceptible to accidents.

If you plan on drinking, it’s best to arrange for a designated driver, and use a rideshare service, or public transportation. By avoiding walking under the influence, you not only protect yourself but also prevent potential harm to others and reduce the risk of being involved in pedestrian accidents.


Obey Traffic Signals

Traffic signs and signals are set in place to regulate the flow of vehicles and ensure pedestrian safety. It’s essential to follow traffic signals and cross the street when the pedestrian signal indicates it’s safe to do so. Don’t be tempted to jaywalk or cross against the signal, even if the road seems clear.

Drivers may not anticipate pedestrians who don’t cross safely, and such actions can lead to devastating accidents. Take a few extra moments to wait for the signal to change, allowing you to cross with confidence and reduce the risk of potential traffic crashes.


Watch Out for Vehicles Exiting Parking Spaces and Lots

As a pedestrian, it’s crucial to remain cautious not only while crossing roads but also when walking near parking lots and spaces. Vehicles backing out of parking spaces may have limited visibility, and drivers might not see you in their rearview mirrors.

Make eye contact with the driver if possible and be prepared to yield when you notice a vehicle preparing to exit a parking spot. Additionally, avoid walking behind parked cars whenever you can, as drivers may not see you.


Tips for Drivers

school zones

  • Never drive under the influence.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks or intersections. Ensure you yield to pedestrians.
  • Look for pedestrians and be extra cautious during nighttime or bad weather conditions.
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
  • Don’t speed, but follow the speed limit.


Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?

If you or a loved one have been involved in a pedestrian accident, you may be dealing with significant physical, emotional, and financial strain. Seeking the help of an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can be vital in protecting your rights and obtaining the compensation you deserve.


Consult an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

crossing pedestrians

A skilled attorney can guide you through the legal process, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Don’t hesitate to reach out for professional legal assistance to ensure you receive the support you need during this difficult time.

At Santiago Accident Lawyers, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of injured victims. We fight tirelessly to help our clients obtain maximum compensation. Call our Orange personal injury law firm today to schedule a free consultation.

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