Safety Tips for Pedestrians
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Glenn A. Perry with Sloan Firm.
Walking can be a great way to avoid getting stuck in traffic, as well as saving money on gas and helping the environment. However, it is important for pedestrians to remain vigilant, especially when walking in an area shared with other vehicles. Pedestrian-vehicle accidents can be particularly severe, so it is important to exercise caution when walking in, around, or near traffic.
If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident, reach out to a pedestrian accident attorney to discuss your situation. If the accident occurred due to another party’s negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind as a pedestrian:
- Look both ways before crossing the street. This might be the most basic rule of pedestrian safety, and continues to be one of the most important. Even when using a crosswalk or abiding by traffic signals, it is important to look both ways before crossing the road. Just because you’re following the rules doesn’t mean other drivers are. Looking both ways before crossing is especially imperative in areas that do not have a crosswalk or traffic signal.
- Use crosswalks. Using crosswalks is a good way to stay safe on the road. This doesn’t mean that you are not eligible for compensation if you are hit outside of a crosswalk; depending on the state where you live, your potential compensation may or may not change based on what you were doing when you were struck by the vehicle. However, it should be noted that if you are hit while using a crosswalk, there is rarely any debate as to the driver’s full liability for your damages.
- Obey traffic signals. It is important to abide by “walk” and “don’t walk” signals at intersections and crosswalks. It can be tempting to disregard these signals when it looks like it should be safe enough to cross, but you never know when a vehicle will pop up around the corner, moving much faster than a pedestrian crossing the street.
- Watch out for turning vehicles. Every vehicle has its blind spots, and these can be particularly problematic when a vehicle is turning. Something the size of a pedestrian may easily be missed by a vehicle in the process of turning, so it is important to remain aware of the vehicles around you at all times.
- Wait for all vehicles to stop. It might seem safe to cross the street when one vehicle has stopped to let you cross, but this is no guarantee that the next vehicle will also stop. This rule applies whenever you are crossing multiple lanes of traffic to get to the other side of the street. Never begin crossing a lane of traffic in which a vehicle has not come to a full stop.
- Don’t wear headphones or use your phone while crossing. Wearing headphones and talking or texting on your phone while crossing the street is a recipe for disaster. If you are distracted, you may not hear or see drivers trying to communicate a present danger to you.
- Be visible. Especially if you are going to be walking in the early morning or evening hours, it is important to wear bright, visible colors and carry a flashlight to signal your presence to drivers. Compared to most vehicles, pedestrians are small and might be overlooked in the best of conditions. Take measures to increase your visibility to others on the street.
- Add Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or No-Fault Insurance to your current insurance policy. In many places, this is a mandatory type of insurance, and while it can be waived, this is not recommended. Many pedestrian accident attorneys recommend purchasing as much PIP or No-Fault Insurance as you can afford in order to receive the most financial protection possible in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, whether you are in your car, bicycle, or on foot.
If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident, you will likely face significant challenges in the medical treatment and healing process. Reach out to a pedestrian accident attorney to discuss your options for physical and financial recovery.