According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Male pedestrians are more likely than female pedestrians to “die or be injured in a motor vehicle crash.”
- Young pedestrians between the ages of 15 and 29 “are more likely to be treated in emergency departments for crash-related injuries compared to any other age group.”
- Pedestrian death rates increase with age.
However, we know every pedestrian is at risk, regardless of age or gender. After all, personal injury doesn’t discriminate. Every pedestrian is at risk for being involved in an accident with an automobile.
Fortunately, you can take steps to keep yourself safe. Below are three extremely simple pedestrian safety tips to help every pedestrian avoid becoming involved in an automobile accident.
1. Stay Visible!
Drivers have to see you to know you’re there. Follow these tips to make sure you stay visible to vehicle drivers, motorcyclists, and bike riders:
- Wear bright or light-colored clothing, especially at night. You can even consider wearing reflective gear at night. (Don’t just think of reflective tape when you think of reflective gear. There are numerous stylish clothing options designed specifically for walking, jogging, running, or biking at night.)
- Carry a flashlight turned on at night. Move the flashlight as you walk so it catches the driver’s attention.
- Always cross the street at well-lit crosswalks or intersections; if you can’t find either, don’t cross the street until you find another well-lit area.
- Before crossing the street, make sure your visibility isn’t hindered by another object near the sidewalk such as a hedge, tree, sign, building, or vehicle. If you’re standing beside or behind one of these objects, a driver might not see you until it’s too late.
- Until you need to cross the street, stay on the sidewalk. Drivers and cyclists already expect you to be there. If you there’s no sidewalk, then walk on the edge of the street facing traffic. That way the traffic becomes visible, and you can see when traffic is coming your way and you can steer clear.
Remember, no matter how visible you’ve made yourself, always assume a driver can’t see you. You never know when he or she is looking the other way. Stay on your toes to stay safe.
2. Stay Careful!
Staying careful…it all sounds like common sense, right? Unfortunately, pedestrians often rely on drivers to follow all the rules. Understand that you can only control what you do; you can’t control another person’s behavior:
- Whenever possible, cross the street at designated crosswalks or intersections. If neither is available, make sure to look both ways carefully before crossing the street.
- Obey all crosswalk signs and other traffic signals. If the crosswalk signal says not to walk, don’t risk it. Just because you don’t see any vehicles coming doesn’t mean there isn’t one right around the bend.
- Look both ways before crossing the street, even if you’re at a designated crosswalk or intersection. You can control your own behavior, but you never know when a driver isn’t going to follow the rules of the road.
- Avoid as many distractions as you can. Distracted walking can be as dangerous as distracted driving. You have to stay alert when you’re surrounded by motor vehicles. We realize you might want to listen to music during a brisk walk or run, and if you can’t avoid it, try to keep the volume down. Also, keep phone calls to a minimum.
- Again, always stay on the sidewalk unless you’re crossing the street. When there’s no sidewalk, walk on the edge of the roadway facing traffic.
Keep yourself safe by relying on yourself to stay careful.
3. Stay Alert!
Finally, stay alert during your walk:
- Don’t walk the sidewalks (or streets) while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Both will impair your hearing, vision, and judgment, and keeping pedestrians safe is a group effort.
- Don’t just assume a driver will stop his or her vehicle. Many people are guilty of distracted driving, and no matter how visible you’ve made yourself, the driver might not be paying attention. Make direct eye contact with the driver to make sure he or she sees you.
- Look both ways before crossing the street, no matter what the crosswalk or other traffic signal indicates. There could always be a driver out there that doesn’t realize he’s supposed to stop.
- Never cross at yellow lights. Just because a light is yellow doesn’t mean every driver will slow to a stop. Many will drive through yellow lights. Wait until the light turns red, the crosswalk signals you to walk, and you’ve looked both ways.
- Be away of horns, back-up beepers, headlights and tail lights, and all other sights and sounds coming from motor vehicles.
It might sound extreme, but in some cases, if you’re too sleepy to drive, you’re probably too sleepy to walk – especially in a busy area – and still be able to follow all of the tips listed above. If you can’t stay alert, it’s best to stay off the sidewalks and roadways.
Have You Been Injured in an Auto Accident? Hire a Auto Accident Attorney West Palm Beach
You might think the term “auto accidents” applies only to vehicles that have gotten into an accident with one another; however, that’s not the case. Auto accidents can affect other vehicles as well as motorcycles, bicycles, and yes, pedestrians.
As mentioned above, the tips listed here will only affect your behavior; you can’t control what others do. That means you’ve only minimized your risk for becoming involved in an accident by following these tips; you haven’t eliminated it. Not by a long shot.
If you become involved in an accident with an automobile, call for help first. Understand that your health comes before anything else, including police reports and witness information. You can handle those steps later, once you’ve been treated and released.
Then, call an experienced auto accident attorney West Palm Beach skilled in car accidents and personal injury cases to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
We at the law offices of Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. are ready to help you right away. Serving the Boca Raton, Orlando, and West Palm Beach areas, Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. can guide you through your auto accident and personal injury case and make sure you get the compensation owed to you. Give us a call at (561)-687-5660 for your free consultation.
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