An accident can happen at any time and it often only takes a short moment where you lose concentration or don’t pay enough attention to conditions for something to go badly wrong.
It is not always your fault that you are involved in an accident, but as a pedestrian, you are extremely vulnerable at certain times, which is why it pays to remember some important safety tips which might just help make your journey a safe one each time.
Here are some of the top tips to bear in mind when it comes to staying safe as a pedestrian.
Make sure you can be seen
One of the most vital tips to take on board is how much it matters to ensure that you are highly visible when you are taking a route as a pedestrian that puts you into contact with vehicles and other potential hazards.
Being visible becomes a big priority at certain times of the day when there are low-light conditions to contend with and you might not be seen by traffic if you are not wearing suitable high-visibility clothing.
You never want to have to use the services of a pedestrian accident attorney if you can help it and one effective way of improving your chances of avoiding an accident in the first place is to make sure you are as visible as possible by wearing reflective and brightly colored clothing.
Be wary of distractions
Our modern world is full of distractions with so many of us checking our smartphones on a regular basis or maybe enjoying listening to some tunes that have been downloaded. It is essential that your number one priority is to focus your eyes and ears on the road and the environment around you rather than allow yourself to be distracted by what’s on your phone or the music you are listening to. Wearing headphones is a particularly bad idea as you are taking away one of your most useful early warning detection systems, your ears. Blocking out the sounds around you will mean that you don’t hear any audible warnings or indications that your risk of an accident is heightened.
Cross the road in the right places
Staying on the sidewalks and designated areas for pedestrians is the best way to stay safe and it is always advisable to use crosswalks when you are attempting to cross a busy street. If you cannot find a suitable crosswalk to use make sure you find the next best thing, which is a well-lit spot on the road where you can see the traffic approaching from both sides and they can see you. Never consider taking a shortcut that involves walking along a highway or other busy roadway that is not designed for pedestrian access and it may be illegal to use the route anyway if you are on foot.
In a fit state to walk
It should come as no surprise to learn that alcohol plays a major part in many road traffic accidents but it not that many people will be aware that pedestrians who have been drinking account for about a third of these injury statistics.
Drinking alcohol will have the effect of impairing your decision-making skills and your physical response rate to danger is slower when you have alcohol in your bloodstream.
Avoid alcohol consumption if you are walking as it can have the same devastating impact on your life as attempting to drive when you have been drinking, mainly because you are greatly increasing your chances of being involved in an accident.
Face the right way
Another easy way to reduce the prospect of being involved in an accident is to make sure that you are facing the traffic when you are walking.
If you cannot use a sidewalk because there isn’t one on your route it is highly advisable to choose the side of the road where you will be facing oncoming traffic. This gives you the best chance of seeing what the cars are doing as they approach so you have an opportunity to take evasive action when required.
Stay safe when walking in a group
Walking is a sociable experience if you are in a group and the temptation is often to walk in a cluster that is two or more abreast, making it easier to chat amongst yourselves. Walking in this formation raises the risk of an accident happening, especially to the person who is nearest the road. Try to stay in single file, especially when the pedestrian access is narrow.
Watch out for bikes
It is all very well watching out for cars but you need to be wary of bike riders too. You are sharing the road and pathway with bikes and a collision can just as easily result in broken bones as colliding with a car.
Keep your dog under control
If you are taking a stroll with your dog you will have the added responsibility of looking out for their safety as well as yours. It is best to keep your dog on a short leash so that they have less chance of straying into the road and causing an accident.
Keep on a straight path
It might be a simple tip but it could save you from being in an accident of you make a concerted effort to be as predictable as possible with your walking. What this means is trying to walk in as straight a line as possible and not crossing the street from one side to the other. Being predictable with your walking can help other road users anticipate your moves more easily.
Make sure you are fit and well for your walk
If you are not feeling well or suffer from a medical condition that makes you vulnerable to excessive exercise, be mindful of this before you attempt to set off on your walk. Make sure you have a phone with you to phone for help if you do decide to go but think twice before stepping out if you think you are not well enough to complete the journey.
Follow these common-sense suggestions and you should improve your odds of arriving home safely from your walk.