Whether you like to take a stroll around the neighborhood in the evenings or you walk through a busy downtown area every day for work, most of us are pedestrians on the road at sometime or another. And while we all assume general safety during these situations based on traffic and pedestrian laws and visual assists like signs and crosswalks, the unfortunate fact is that pedestrians are hurt or killed every year in accidents that could have been avoided.
At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, our personal injury attorneys are here to help if you’ve been injured as a pedestrian in an accident where someone else may be liable. But of course, we’d rather avoid these incidents altogether – here are some tips for staying safe during any periods where you’re a pedestrian, plus to avoid any potential liability if an accident does take place involving you (yes, pedestrians can be partially or fully at fault for accidents if they were not obeying the law).
You should make efforts to make yourself visible and easily seen to drivers, especially if you’re walking on busy streets or during the evening or night time. Just like a biker or someone else sharing the road, use lit or reflective clothing at night to make sure you can be seen – some others like to carry a flashlight with them that helps with both visibility and their own personal walking path.
In addition, use the assists already present on roadways to remain visible and obvious. Only cross busy streets at marked intersections and crosswalks, while obeying all walk or stop signs or signals. If you do have to cross an unmarked intersection at night, seek a well-lit area where drivers can see you without any obstructions.
Be aware of the things you’re doing as a pedestrian on the road. Failure to do this may not only lead to injury, but could cause liability concerns as well. Some areas to consider:
- Signs: Traffic signs and various signals are there to keep you safe. Follow them at all times.
- Listen: You don’t have a 360-degree range of vision, and you may not always see traffic from every angle. You might be able to hear it first, however, but not if you’re distracted by music or talking on the phone.
- Looking: The phrase “look both ways” is cliché for a reason – it’s necessary. Traffic comes from both directions, and vehicles may turn at intersections.
Avoid Dangerous Activities
Finally, you have to avoid certain behaviors at all times while a pedestrian. These include walking on streets instead of marked sidewalks, plus walking facing traffic – this lets drivers see you more easily. Finally, never assume you’re completely safe or that drivers will always obey the law perfectly; take additional precautions in any busy area just to be sure.
For more on staying safe as a pedestrian, or to learn about any of our personal injury or auto accident services if you’re involved in an accident, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.