Walking is a healthy, environmentally friendly way to get from place to place. The more that you walk, the more health benefits you gain, and the smaller your carbon footprint becomes. However, despite all of its benefits, walking can be dangerous at times.
This is especially true if your journeys take you through high-traffic areas. Whether taking your dog out for exercise or commuting to work on foot, there are five important things that you should do to avoid accidents.
1. Stay Vigilant and Avoid Unnecessary Distractions
Always be cognizant of your surroundings. The best way to do this is by avoiding unnecessary distractions. Don’t walk and try to use your mobile phone at the same time. This remains true even if you like walking to the sound of music. With headphones in, you may not be able to hear cars honking at you or other alerts of danger.
It is additionally important to avoid walking while under the influence. Surprisingly, although drunk drivers are easily one of the greatest dangers on the road, walking while inebriated or under the influence of drugs can lead to accidents as well.
With impaired vision and judgment, lowered coordination, and an inability to take swift and evasive actions, intoxicated walkers can be responsible for causing accidents as well. Visit this website for more information about what to do when a pedestrian caused an accident. Just like drivers, pedestrians can be held liable for all of the resulting losses. This includes the other party’s:
- Medical bills
- Legal fees
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
If you cause an accident as a pedestrian, even if you didn’t mean to, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars. Unlike the driver of a car, you most likely won’t have insurance that will cover the other party’s damages.
2. Obey the Rules of the Road
The notion that pedestrians always have the right of way isn’t entirely true. Whenever crossing at an unmarked roadway or intersection, those traveling on foot must yield to other traffic.
Traveling on foot doesn’t give you permission to jaywalk or cross against the signal. Even when you have the right of way, you have to account for distracted drivers and drivers who don’t obey the rules of the road.
3. Make Eye Contact With Drivers Before Proceeding
When possible, one very effective way to make sure that it’s safe to cross is by making eye contact with drivers before stepping out into an intersection. This will allow you to confirm that the driver is aware of you and has no intention of proceeding.
Keep in mind that even though they shouldn’t, many motorists are still driving while texting, emailing, and placing phone calls. Crossing legally at an intersection doesn’t guarantee that you won’t fall victim to a driver who isn’t paying attention.
4. Choose Your Walking Routes Wisely
Be cognizant of the intersections in your neighborhood that tend to be most accident-prone. Try to choose walking routes that keep you away from high-traffic areas and busy intersections.
Avoid walking down streets that lack adequate lighting at night, and always be sure to wear bright or reflective clothing when going out. Planning your routes carefully and choosing the right clothing can greatly minimize your likelihood of being hit by a car.
5. Face Oncoming Traffic Whenever There’s No Sidewalk
If you ever have to walk in an area that lacks sidewalks, be sure to walk in the direction of oncoming traffic. This will increase drivers’ ability to see you. More importantly, it means that you’ll be able to see approaching vehicles and can identify developing problems in time to move out of their way.
Make sure that there is always ample room for taking evasive action if necessary. You never know when you may need to jump into a ditch or onto someone’s lawn to avoid an oncoming car.
Drivers have a responsibility to look out for pedestrians. However, pedestrians are equally responsible for watching out for themselves. By not jaywalking, not traveling while intoxicated, and choosing to wear bright or reflective clothing, you can keep yourself safe and accident-free every time you travel.