Pedestrian Safety Tips

Pedestrian Safety Tips

Drivers and pedestrians alike share the responsibility of keeping themselves and others on the road safe. Significant improvements have been made by the Federal Highway Administration to increase pedestrian safety. Infrastructure improvements have added a variety of safety measures, including more medians, sidewalks and redesigned roads allowing for better pedestrian/bicycle traffic flow. Here are some useful tips and guidelines to follow.

Be Safe and Be Seen: Make yourself visible to drivers

  • Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
  • Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
  • Cross the street in a well-lit area at night, preferably at a crosswalk.
  • Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars, or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.

Be Smart and Alert: Avoid dangerous behaviors

  • Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
  • Don’t assume vehicles will stop. Make eye contact with drivers, don’t just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, he or she may not be paying enough attention to see you.
  • Don’t rely solely on pedestrian signals. Look in all directions before you cross the road.
  • Be alert to engine noise or backup lights on cars when in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.
  • Never step out between parked cars.

Be Careful at Crossings: Look before you step off

  • Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible.
  • Obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON’T WALK signs.
  • Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street.
  • Watch for turning vehicles. Be sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
  • Look across ALL lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Even if one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can, or will, see you and stop for you.
  • Don’t wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.

Although pedestrians have the right of way in most states, do not assume that an inattentive driver will remember that. Maintaining control of your circumstances and actions will go a long way to keep you safe. Contact Merriam Insurance today to learn more.

Richard Hale