Whether you’re out to experience the nightlife or you simply enjoy an evening stroll, it’s essential to understand the rules of pedestrian safety. Staying safe as a pedestrian in the daytime is one thing, but walking on sidewalks and crossing streets at night presents a different set of challenges. 

According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration, most pedestrian deaths occur at night between 6 PM and 12 AM. Here’s a look at some of the most effective ways to protect yourself while walking outdoors in the dark.

Basic Nighttime Pedestrian Safety

Traffic is an obvious risk of walking along the street at night, and it’s something you should be aware of and watch out for. But there are also other potential hazards and risks. Take the following precautions to keep yourself safe when walking at night:

  • Avoid walking in dark and poorly-lit areas. Stick to well-lit areas with bright streetlamps. Do not take shortcuts through dark alleys and side streets.
  • Wear bright clothing that drivers will be able to see. Reflectors on your shoes or clothing can be extra helpful to stand out at night.
  • Carry a flashlight or light source with you. Cell phone flashlights are ok in a pinch, but a flashlight with more lumens would be more effective for lighting the path in front of you.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. Utah laws require pedestrians to use sidewalks if they are available. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the shoulder as far away from the roadway as possible. The law also states that you should walk on the left, facing traffic, if you somehow find yourself on a road with no sidewalk and no shoulder.
  • Don’t scroll on your phone as you walk. Cell phone use while driving is illegal because of the dangers it presents, but it can be equally dangerous for pedestrians. A pedestrian staring at their phone can easily step off the sidewalk, veer outside of the crosswalk, or find themselves stepping into oncoming traffic. 
  • Obey all traffic signals unless a police officer is otherwise directing traffic.
  • Stick with a group or another person, and try to avoid walking by yourself at night. Walking with someone else can help protect you from danger and crime, and if an accident does occur, you have someone to call for help. 
  • Assume that motorists cannot see you. Practice walking defensively, and wait an extra few seconds to make sure the driver will stop before you proceed into an intersection. Those few extra seconds could save your life. 

Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help

Accidents can happen when you least expect them, even if you’re following all of the rules of pedestrian safety. If you’ve suffered injury as a pedestrian, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton are here to help you collect damages for your pain and suffering. Our offices are conveniently located in Provo and West Jordan, Utah. Contact us today for a free case evaluation so you can get started on the road to healing and recovery.