Walking is an excellent way to stay active, reduce stress, and enjoy the outdoors, but pedestrians face various safety risks. To ensure your safety, it is crucial to follow essential pedestrian safety tips. 

This blog will provide some of the most crucial pedestrian safety tips. From being aware of your surroundings to using designated walkways, we will cover everything you need to know to stay safe while walking. Let’s explore these tips!

1. Be Visible.

Drivers need help seeing pedestrians, especially in low-light conditions (think dusk, dawn, or at night). One of the most effective ways to increase your visibility as a pedestrian is to wear reflective clothing and accessories. Reflective materials reflect light back to its source, such as the headlights of an approaching vehicle, making you more visible to drivers. Reflective materials include vests, jackets, armbands, belts, hats, and backpacks.

In addition to wearing reflective clothing and accessories, you can use lights or flashers to increase visibility. Flashing lights, such as those found on bikes or clip-ons, can be attached to your clothing or backpack, making you more visible to drivers.

Being visible as a pedestrian is particularly important when walking on or near roads with high-speed limits or in areas with heavy traffic, such as intersections or highways. Increasing your visibility reduces the likelihood of being involved in a pedestrian accident or collision with a vehicle.

2. Use Crosswalks and Pedestrian Signals.

Crosswalks are typically marked with white painted lines on the road surface and can be found at intersections or mid-block crossings.

Using a crosswalk when crossing the street provides many benefits, including increased visibility to drivers, a shorter road distance, and a designated safe area for pedestrians to cross.

Pedestrian signals are traffic control devices instructing pedestrians when crossing the street is safe. These signals typically display a “walk” or “don’t walk” sign, indicating when it is safe to cross the street or when pedestrians should wait for the traffic signal to change. Pedestrian signals can also have audible tones or vibrations to assist visually impaired pedestrians.

When using a crosswalk, following the pedestrian signals and waiting for the “walk” signal before crossing the street is essential. It is also important to continue to look both ways for oncoming traffic, even when the pedestrian signal indicates it is safe to cross.

3. Look at Both Ways Before Crossing.

Looking both ways before crossing the street is a fundamental rule of pedestrian safety. It is an essential habit that all pedestrians should develop to ensure safety while walking on or near roads.

By looking both ways, you can identify potential hazards and avoid accidents or collisions with vehicles. When crossing the street, look left and right to check for approaching vehicles.

Even when crossing at a designated crosswalk or the pedestrian signal indicates it is safe to cross, it is still essential to look both ways before stepping off the curb. It is also important to listen for the sound of approaching vehicles, particularly when crossing at an intersection or near a corner where drivers may be making turns.

It’s important to continue looking both ways while crossing the street, as drivers may not see you or may be distracted while driving. By remaining aware of your surroundings, you can identify potential hazards and take steps to avoid accidents or collisions.

4. Avoid Distractions.

Avoiding distractions while walking on or near roads can help prevent vehicle accidents or collisions. It’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and minimize distractions that could divert your attention from potential hazards.

Common distractions include using electronic devices and chatting with other people. Using electronic devices usually looks like using your smartphone or headphones while walking, when your eyes and ears are best kept on the road to keep you safe. In the same vein, engaging in conversation can also distract you.

If you need to use your phone or want to have a heart-to-heart, it’s best to stop walking and move to a safe location, like a bench or a sidewalk.

5. Walk on Sidewalks and Paths.

Walking on sidewalks and paths is essential to pedestrian safety. Using designated walkways to avoid accidents or collisions with vehicles and to ensure your safety while walking is essential.

Sidewalks and paths are designed to provide pedestrians with a safe and accessible route for walking. They are often separated from vehicular traffic, making them a safer option. When walking on sidewalks and paths, staying on the designated walkway and avoiding walking on the roadway is essential.

Be mindful of curb cuts, utility poles, or signs obstructing your path. Also, be aware of other pedestrians, particularly in crowded areas with much foot traffic. If no sidewalk or path is available, walk facing traffic to see oncoming vehicles.

6. Be Alert in Parking Lots.

Knowing the dangers of heavy and chaotic traffic is essential when walking in parking lots. One of the most important things to remember is to be cautious and alert of your surroundings.

You should always look for vehicles backing up, turning in or out of parking spaces, or approaching from different directions. You should also be aware of other pedestrians, especially in crowded parking lots where there may be a lot of foot traffic.

It is essential to use designated walkways and crosswalks when walking in parking lots since these areas are designed to provide a safe path for pedestrians to walk. Avoid walking in the roadway or between parked cars, as this can increase the risk of an accident or collision with a vehicle.

You should always be aware of your surroundings when walking to or from your vehicle. Always have your keys ready and be prepared to get into your car quickly to avoid spending too much time in the parking lot. Check the area around your vehicle before getting in to ensure no vehicles are approaching or backing up.

7. Be Cautious in Inclement Weather.

Wear appropriate clothing and footwear such as waterproof or water-resistant clothing, shoes with good traction, gloves, and hats to protect against the cold.

Be aware of your surroundings when walking in adverse weather conditions. Rain, snow, or fog can make it difficult to see, so be extra cautious and aware of your surroundings. Look for hazards such as slippery surfaces or obstacles obscured by snow or fog.

Pay attention to the condition of walkways and sidewalks. Snow and ice can create hazardous conditions, so use designated walkways and walk slowly and carefully when conditions are slippery. Avoid walking in the roadway, as this can increase the risk of an accident or collision with a vehicle.

Recap

7 Pedestrian Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

Have You Been Injured as a Pedestrian? Call Flickinger Boulton Gooch & Robson

While following these pedestrian safety tips can keep you much safer, accidents can still happen even to the most cautious pedestrians. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, the experienced attorneys at Flickinger Boulton Gooch & Robson are here to help. 

Our team of dedicated attorneys has the knowledge and expertise to help you get the compensation you deserve. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free case evaluation. Call us at 801.500.4000, or fill out the form on our website to get started.