Pedestrian accidents are often fatal or cause serious bodily injury such as head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and serious internal injuries. One reason for this is because pedestrians simply do not stand much of a chance when faced with a car. Another reason for this is because a disproportionate number of people injured in pedestrian accidents are children and seniors, and these groups of people may sustain injuries more easily due to their size or bodily condition. While drivers have a responsibility to prevent car accidents, there are many things that pedestrians can do to stay safe:
1) Cross only at designated intersections and crosswalks. Many pedestrians are injured because they try to cross the street without using crosswalks. Cars may simply not expect to see you in an area without a crosswalk. If you must cross without an intersection, find a spot where cars can clearly see you, make eye contact with any drivers on the road and make sure that you have plenty of clearance to cross.
2) Walk on sidewalks and pedestrian bridges where possible. These areas are no-car zones and are therefore the safest places to walk. Sharing roadways with cars always places you in greater danger. If you need to walk somewhere where no sidewalks are provided or where sidewalks are unavailable due to weather or construction, walk facing traffic, on the left shoulder of the road.
3) When crossing streets at intersections, look left, right and left again to ensure that you have a safe way to cross. Even if you have right of way, not all cars will stop. Stopping at a crosswalk yourself shows drivers that you intend to stop as well, and allows them to let you pass. Also, make sure that you obey traffic signals.
4) Stay visible. Wear clothing that is easily visible to drivers for the weather conditions. If you are walking at night, make sure your clothes have reflective material or bring a flashlight. Also, make sure that drivers can see you. Stay out of blind spots and make eye contact with drivers before crossing a street.
5) Stay alert. Walking after drinking heavily can be dangerous. You can veer into the road or make mistakes when crossing the street. Even wearing headphones can prevent you from hearing horns and other warnings.
6) Don’t let children play on streets or near them. Children often can’t judge car distances and may not be able to understand safe pedestrian practices.