It can happen to anyone. You’re walking down the street, come to a crosswalk. The signal is lit up in your favor, so you proceed into the crosswalk. But, a car turns right, because they have a green light too, and hits you. Unfortunately, accidents like these are not uncommon. In fact, there are around 64,000 pedestrian accidents each year. As a pedestrian, you need to be on your guard. Even though pedestrians often have the right of way, being a cautious and observant one can save you from being in an accident. Here are five ways to be both:
- Always check for cars turning before beginning to cross. Usually pedestrians and drivers making a turn have the same green light. While you, the pedestrian, should have the right of way, a driver may not be paying attention and might go ahead and turn. Make sure you look to make sure this isn’t happening before you cross the street.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing. This will help to ensure that the driver actually does see you and will tell them that you see them as well.
- Use sidewalks whenever possible. Very few pedestrian accidents happen on sidewalks. Additionally, drivers will expect pedestrians to be on sidewalks if they are in the area, not in the road.
- Walk on the left side of the road if a sidewalk is not available. It may feel more natural to walk on the right side, but it is dangerous. If you walk on the left side, you are more likely to be able to see cars coming in advance, which will give you more time to get out of the way. If you walk on the right side, a small, unintentional sideways step can be fatal.
- Do not dart out into the street. If a driver doesn’t see you, they aren’t going to be able to stop in time to avoid hitting you. This is what will happen if you run out into the street. In these scenarios, the driver is hardly ever judged to be at fault, and that is bad news for the pedestrian. They will face strict limits on the compensation they are entitled to.
Walking is a great way to exercise, it’s good for the environment and you save gas. We encourage everyone to be a pedestrian, at least once in awhile. Just be a safe pedestrian. If you’ve recently been in a pedestrian accident, please contact us if you have any questions.