Walking is a convenient and free way to get exercise. You may even like to walk to get to a nearby destination. No matter why, where or how long you are walking, staying safe is of the utmost importance.
If you are walking on or near a road, you face the considerable risk of suffering harm from passing vehicles. Even a quick trip across the street to visit a neighbor could turn serious if a speeding or distracted driver does not see you or cannot stop in time. So, you certainly want to do your part to stay safe while on foot.
You likely learned from a young age that you should always look both ways before crossing the street. This tip is certainly helpful as you may spot a vehicle barreling down the road before the driver even thinks about looking for pedestrians. Other tips that may help you increase your safety include the following:
- Pay attention: Though you are on foot, distractions could easily contribute to an accident. If you text while walking or otherwise use your phone, your eyes are not on the lookout for potential hazards.
- Do not drink and walk: While you may think of walking as a safer alternative to driving if you have consumed alcohol, it is still dangerous. Intoxication can easily impair your judgment, and you could quickly put yourself at risk.
- Stand out: You want drivers to see you while on foot. Therefore, you may benefit from wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing and making sure to walk in well-lit areas.
- Follow directions: Just as drivers have safety rules and traffic directions they must follow, pedestrians do too. However, even if the sign says “walk” and you are in a crosswalk, you need to watch out for drivers who may not follow the rules.
- Utilize safe areas: When possible, stay on the sidewalk when walking and use crosswalks to cross streets. If neither are available, stay to the far side of the road and face traffic for better visibility.
Drivers can easily overlook pedestrians, so do what you can to help yourself stay safe and visible.
Of course, even if you do your best to stay safe, an intoxicated or distracted driver could suddenly hit you with a vehicle. In this type of event, it is likely that you will suffer serious injuries. While seeking medical attention is a top priority, you may later want to consider your legal options for pursuing compensation from the driver considered at fault.