A lot of times as a pedestrian you assume that your safety is guaranteed, however this isn’t always the case, especially if you end up walking recklessly. Your safety as a pedestrian is just as much of your responsibility as it is others drivers and bikers.
In this article we’re going to cover the top ways you can stay safe as a pedestrian, as well as a few initiatives that are underway that are seeking to improve pedestrian safety. Since pedestrian accidents have increased in recent years it’s important to do what we can to reduce this number.
How can I ensure my safety as a pedestrian?
A big reason most pedestrians are injured when they’re walking is because they’re distracted from what’s taking place around them. If you’re unaware of the car that’s speeding by there’s a higher chance of you getting injured, compared to a person who is completely aware of their surroundings. Although, it’s impossible to be aware all the time, there’s a few things you can do to improve your chances of not being distracted.
First, is not texting while you’re walking. Over a third of all walkers report to being distracted when they’re walking. The biggest distraction is from sending or receiving text messages. In fact, people who were responding to a text message while they were walking were four times more likely to walk out into the street without looking. Texting and doing other things on a cell phone also made people more likely to walk out into the street where there wasn’t an intersection.
As a pedestrian you can also increase your chances of staying safe by avoiding intersections that are too crowded, only crossing in crosswalks, and wearing brighter clothing if you’re planning on walking at night or in low light conditions.
Aside from pedestrians alone, drivers can do their part to be more aware of the pedestrians. If you’re driving always increase your awareness when you’re entering an intersection, and slow down if you have to.
What initiatives are currently underway that are improving pedestrian safety standards?
Currently, in the LA area more sidewalks are being installed to help pedestrians know where to walk. By having more crosswalks drivers are also more cautious, thus resulting in less injuries all around.
Other states and counties are continuing to add to their pedestrian safety measures. As accidents went down across the board, they actually increased in relation to pedestrians. This could simply be because more people are opting to walk to work than ever before. Whatever the case it’s important for cities to increase their safety measures, while drivers and pedestrians alike minimize their distractions whenever possible.
I hope this article has been helpful and you have a better understanding at how you can maintain your safety while walking on the sidewalks. Remember, your safety is your responsibility. A big piece of staying safe is to have the awareness of where other cars and bicycles are on the road.
It will take a cohesive effort between walkers, drivers and more regulations and sidewalks to help reduce pedestrian accidents across the board.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at The McMinn Law Firm, a personal injury law firm in Austin, Texas. Zane is glad he’s never been hit while walking.
Photo Credit: @EffStopp
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