Every eight minutes, a car hits a pedestrian. We’re not saying that you should stay inside all the time to avoid being struck, but you should exercise caution when walking, especially in high-traffic areas such as Seattle. It’s easy to reduce your chances of being the victim of a pedestrian accident. Even if you’re paying attention, there is a possibility that the drivers around you are not. Pedestrian accidents are very often the result of driver negligence. The more cautious you are, the safer you’ll be.
• Always walk on the sidewalk.
Very few pedestrian accidents occur on sidewalks. If you’re in an area that has a sidewalk, and you don’t use it, a driver will not expect you to be walking on the road and will be even less likely to see you.
• Look both ways before crossing.
This was one of the very first things our moms taught us. In addition, be especially cautious of drivers turning. They may have a green light and forget that you have the go-ahead too.
• Make eye contact with drivers before crossing.
This ensures that the driver sees you and he or she knows that you see them.
• Only walk on a “walk” indicator.
The coast may look clear and the temptation to walk on a “don’t walk” indicator may be strong, but don’t do it. Cars can come out of nowhere, and there may be one lurking where you don’t see it.
• Do not walk behind a car in reverse.
Hopefully if a driver is backing up, they’re checking their rearview mirror at the very least. But oftentimes they fail to check over their shoulder and their side view mirrors. They can easily miss seeing you.
Always exercise caution as a pedestrian. It can be easy to put yourself in danger, but it can be just as easy to protect yourself. Be cautious and walk on, my friends.