Pedestrian Safety Tips from Wilshire Law Firm
Pedestrian accidents in California are on the increase statewide, and it’s time we face facts about how careless many drivers are when it comes to sharing the road. Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians; they must be mindful of individuals who are attempting to get somewhere on foot, as well as other vehicles on the road.
The increase in pedestrian injuries and deaths is not a problem just in California. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 4,800 pedestrian deaths in 2012, and another 76,000 injuries across the United States. Children between the ages of 5 and 15, and adults over age 65, are at the greatest risk of getting injured or killed.
What Can We Do to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents?
Taking steps to prevent pedestrian accidents is easy. Drivers must always obey traffic laws by yielding to pedestrians. Pedestrians need to be aware of vehicles around them. We must work together to keep ourselves safe on the roads and sidewalks.
Here are ten tips that can help avoid accidents that could cause serious injuries, or death:
- Look left, right, then left again, for traffic: Stop at the curb and check in both directions for moving vehicles. Stopping at the curb alerts drivers of your intention to cross the street.
- Walk on sidewalks: If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk on the left shoulder, or the edge of the road facing traffic.
- Cross only at intersections or at designated crosswalks: Most pedestrian accidents happen when crossing at places other than crosswalks and intersections.
- Make eye contact with drivers when crossing a busy street: Make sure the driver sees you before crossing the street.
- Wear bright or reflective clothing when walking at night: Reflective vests and other bright clothing is available that will keep you safe on those evening strolls.
- Carry a flashlight when walking on an especially dark street: Some residential streets can be very dark at night. Carrying a flashlight while walking ensures that passing cars know you’re there.
- Do not allow children to play near traffic or cross the street by themselves: Keep an eye on children when they are playing near a busy street. Always cross the street with them even in a school zone where there is a higher risk of unsupervised children getting hit. Make sure they understand how dangerous moving cars can be.
- Do not drink and walk: Too much alcohol can be just as dangerous when walking as it is when driving. If you’ve had too much to drink, call a cab, or have a designated driver take you home.
- Always obey traffic signals: Never cross against a signal that favors traffic, unless you are instructed to do so by a police or traffic safety officer.
- Take care when using electronic devices: We know how dangerous it can be to talk or text on a mobile phone while driving. The same goes for pedestrians. Don’t get distracted by your phone or tablet, especially when you are walking in busy areas.
Following these tips can help reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities, and make our communities safer for everyone.
Read more about pedestrian accidents.