How Pedestrians Can Prevent Car Accidents
When it comes to a showdown between a vehicle and a pedestrian, the vehicle is going to win every time. Even when a pedestrian is following the safety rules, that doesn’t mean the cars on the road are doing the same. In some cases, accidents may be caused due to the pedestrian’s own actions.
More often than not, pedestrian accidents often happen due to negligence — on either the driver’s or the pedestrian’s part. To ensure that you aren’t seriously injured or even killed, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself.
1. Never Assume it’s Safe to Cross
You might think that because you are at a crosswalk that it is safe to cross. Assuming this could lead to disaster.
At any time, there are things going on inside a car that can distract the driver. Screaming kids, loud music, phones or exhaustion, among other things, could mean that they don’t see you crossing the street. Even if you are at a designated crosswalk, it’s imperative that you look both ways and ensure that drivers are going to stop before you decide to head across the street.
You’ll also want to keep your eyes open for drivers that run red lights or are attempting to make a turn. Even though you might have the right of way, you aren’t going to come out the winner when confronted by a car. Take steps to keep yourself safe.
2. Only Cross in Designated Areas
Speaking of designated crosswalks, it’s in your best interest to ensure that this is the only place you are crossing the street. It’s also helpful if there are signals and/or crossing guards. Make sure to only cross when the sign says “Walk” or when the guard tells you it’s okay.
Avoid jaywalking at all costs. Attempting to cross the street in a place that isn’t marked for pedestrians increases your chances of not being seen and getting hit by a car.
If there are a lot of cars on the side of the road, standing in between them will hide you from oncoming traffic. The areas around designated crosswalks are usually open so that you are visible to drivers, making it the safest open when crossing the street.
3. Cross With Predictability
To prevent accidents from occurring while crossing the street, walk in a straight line from one destination to the other. If you encounter an impatient motorist, once you are out of the way (whether you are on the sidewalk or not), they may decide to move forward as fast as possible.
If you suddenly turn around to head back the way you came, this could lead to a collision. Should you find that you have to turn around for whatever reason, make sure to stop and make sure that the driver is aware of what’s going on. Then, move to the sidewalk as quickly as possible.
4. Make Yourself Visible
Walking during the day can be dangerous, but the risk factor increases exponentially when it gets dark. For your safety, do what you can to make yourself visible. This includes wearing bright, reflective clothing. You might also consider carrying a light with you.
Since most cellphones have a flashlight feature, consider using this to make yourself visible and reduce your chances of getting hit by a car.
4. Face Oncoming Traffic
In areas where there is no sidewalk, you want to face oncoming traffic while you walk. This gives you the opportunity to see what is coming at you. If you need to move out of the way, hopefully you’ll have enough time to do so to avoid an impact.
Always Be Aware
As a pedestrian, you might think that you have the right of way, but this isn’t always true. If you find yourself in a confrontation with a vehicle, you aren’t going to win. Keep yourself safe. Always be aware of your surroundings and never assume that the driver sees you.