Often times, being a pedestrian is taken too lightly. There are serious risks when walking near road traffic and sadly sometimes people don’t make it to their destinations. Being a defensive pedestrian is just as valuable as being a defensive driver. Take these extra precautions while walking near roads to help you get where you’re going safely.
Make Yourself Seen
- Wear bright or light colored clothing and reflective materials so drivers can see you at night.
- Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.
- Cross the street in well-lit areas at night.
- Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars, or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you. Don’t just walk out into the street from behind something.
Make Smart Choices
- Always walk on the sidewalk and if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
- Stay sober – walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
- Don’t assume vehicles will stop. Make eye contact with drivers before stepping out in front of their vehicle. If a driver may not be paying enough attention to come to a stop.
- Don’t just rely on pedestrian signals – look before you cross the road.
- Be alert to engine noise or backup lights on cars when in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.
Always Look Before You Cross
- Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections whenever possible.
- Obey traffic signals such as WALK and DON’T WALK signs.
- Look left, right and left again before crossing a street.
- Watch for turning vehicles when crossing a crosswalk.
- Make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you before you walk out in front of it.
- Look across ALL lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding.
- Even if one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
- Don’t wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing the street.