9 Safety Tips For Pedestrians Of All Ages

At one time or another, almost every person in the world is classified as a pedestrian. Today’s fast paced world, with the increased emphasis on deadlines and a somewhat incredible amount of traffic in some locations, has made it sometimes unsafe for pedestrians. While most people take it for granted that they can safely walk from one place to another, due to a number of reasons, there has been a rise in accidents involving pedestrians almost every year in recent history. Statistically speaking, it is usually children and the elderly that are most often involved in traffic accidents that involve pedestrians. While it is still quite safe to walk even near the busiest of roadways, there are some common sense tips that can go a long way in keeping pedestrians of all ages safely away from danger.


1. Always Be Aware.
When a pedestrian is aware of their surroundings and the potential dangers within it, they can still have fun talking with their friends, but they are also prepared for anything that may happen because they know ahead of time that there is a chance that it could.

2. Use Sidewalks Of Course.
Pedestrians who make use of sidewalks where available are a great deal safer than those that insist on walking nearer to the roadway, or worse yet on the actual surface of the roadway itself. When sidewalks are not available, then if possible a pedestrian should walk on the left shoulder of the road, facing the oncoming traffic so that the vehicles that will be traveling nearest to them are in their field of vision.

3. That Traffic Signal Is Talking To You.
Everyday there are examples of people who decide to cross a street even though the traffic signal flashes “Do Not Walk”. Often they successfully navigate the street and cross it safely, but there are times where this decision ends up being a life changing one for both them and the unsuspecting driver of a car who has the green light going the other way. In many traffic situations there are blind corners that drivers cannot see around and by the time they see a person walking in the middle of the street it is too late. Crossing a street only when given the go ahead by a traffic signal is a very smart thing to do.

4. Cross The Street Where You’re Supposed To.
Most pedestrians that end up being hit by cars do so because they have attempted to cross the street in a location that they are not supposed to. Drivers are driving their vehicles at a higher rate of speed than pedestrians are walking. Through habit, most drivers are trained to look for pedestrians at marked crosswalks and intersections, when people attempt to cross the street in an unmarked location it can catch the driver by surprise and they may not have enough time to avoid impacting the pedestrian.

5. Use Pedestrian Bridges, That’s Why They’re There.
Millions of dollars are spent all the time around the country analyzing the safety levels of particular sections of roadway. When a section of roadway is found to be so busy that it isn’t safe for pedestrians to cross it at the street level, transportation agencies regularly install pedestrian bridges. For some people to ignore these bridges means that they not only want to risk either injury or their life by crossing a busy road, but they are willing to do it in a location that is one of the most dangerous places available to choose.

6. Drinking While Walking? Not Always Safe.
There is a huge focus on the problem of drunk driving, and rightfully so. To a lesser degree, there is also a problem with people consuming too much alcohol, or other reaction impairing drug, and then walking close to or on busy streets. When a person is impaired to the point that they are confused as to where they are or where they are going and they have trouble walking, they are a danger to themselves and motorists passing nearby. A ride home with a sober friend is one of the better options that a pedestrian under the influence can use.

7. Make Sure Drivers Know You Are There.
A great way that a pedestrian can improve the chances that they will be safe is by making sure that drivers that come near them know that they are there. This can mean wearing bright clothing, making eye contact with a driver when crossing the street in front of them, carrying a flashlight and/or wearing reflective clothing when walking at night, and not attempting to enter the roadway or cross the street at locations where the driver’s view of them may be obstructed.

8. Look Left, Then Right, Then Left Again.
Blindly entering the street to cross it is a recipe for disaster and tragedy. The only way, under any circumstances, that a person should cross the road is by after checking for oncoming traffic in either direction. A simple look to the left, then to the right, then to the left again should be all it takes for a pedestrian to recognize if they are in danger of stepping out in front of an oncoming vehicle.

9. Children Are A Completely Different Story.
Under no circumstances should children be allowed to play near the road. Toys can be thrown or fly into the street, and a child lacking supervision or a reason to worry about anything other than getting their toy back may wander out in front of a speeding car that does not see them. To avoid these kind of tragedies, and many others, a fence or great distance should always separate children at play from the roadway. When walking near a roadway, children should hold the hand of an adult and be warned of the danger that the vehicles passing by can bring to them. Most children lack the ability to judge the speed of an oncoming vehicle or the distance between themselves and that vehicle properly, and for this reason should not be allowed to cross the street by themselves.

Following these simple rules and using a good deal of common sense should be all it takes for pedestrians of all ages to remain safe when they walk near busy roadways. Many people become seriously injured or even die every year because they are involved in a traffic accident even though they were not driving a vehicle. Through the use of common sense and paying attention to their surroundings, the vast majority of these tragedies could have been avoided.

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