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5 Ways that Pedestrians can Stay Safe in Busy Areas
  November 10, 2015|  0 comments|  By jj

 Pedestrian safety is very important when it comes to safety on the roads. According to studies carried out by the National Highway Traffic Association and the Insurance for Highway Safety, pedestrian fatalities account for 11% of all motor vehicle fatalities.

Moreover, between the years 1975 and 2005, more than 180,000 pedestrians have been killed in motor vehicle accidents, many of them resulting from DUI incidences. Some other alarming facts and statistics about pedestrian accidents are given below:

  • A pedestrian is injured in a traffic accident every 8 minutes in the United States on average
  • A pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident every 111 minutes
  • A total of 4,881 pedestrians were killed on the roads in the year 2005

Pedestrians are more vulnerable on the roads as compared to those travelling in a motor vehicle for obvious reasons. It is also true that pedestrians often experience more serious injuries if they are involved in an accident.

If you have a habit of walking to the park, going to a friend’s house, visiting the mall or nearest cafe to grab a bite, consider safe walking routes. Also acquaint yourself with defensive techniques.

Although these strategies or techniques will not prevent you from getting hit by a neglectful driver, they may increase your chances of staying safe on the roads. Some of these techniques are mentioned below:

Look both ways

If you are attempting to cross a road or street, it is essential to look both ways. Even if you think you are in a deserted area, where there is little or no traffic, it is always safe to look both ways before crossing. For the highest level of protection, look left, then right and then left again before you attempt to cross the road. Keep looking as you walk along if you are crossing multiple lanes to avoid any moving objects as you begin to move along.

Never assume

Although vehicles should yield to pedestrians, it is not necessary that they WILL do that. A driver who is in a rush or drunken will not stop at an intersection or at the pedestrian crossing. Never cross in front of an oncoming vehicle assuming that the vehicle will yield. Always use a pedestrian-marked crossing area to stay safe.

Make eye contact with the driver

Establish eye contact with a driver before you start to cross. This way you will know that the driver is attentive and has seen you. The driver may realize that you intend to cross so they will slow down. If you simply make a run for it without indicating that you are trying to cross, you can be in a lot of trouble. Always observe, move cautiously, and use eye contact to remind drivers that you are present and require their cooperation. If in doubt, wait until the road is clear.

Avoid Busy Roads

When possible, choose the least busy route to your destination. You might want to install an app on your mobile to check for less crowded roads to your destination. This way you will have a chance of quick and safe crossings. However, this does not mean you won’t be crossing busy streets at all. When walking through a busy area, follow all the above listed safety techniques to stay safe. Avoid highways or roads where drivers tend to speed more than usual.

Watch drivers and follow Crosswalk signals

If you are waiting at a red light, it does not mean that the automobile cannot take a turn. Turning drivers may even fail to see the pedestrian signal so take extra care when you are at a busy intersection. Look around at vehicles stopped at the signal before you cross as even stopped vehicles can make drastic moves sometimes. Assess the driver before you act and look out for vehicles or motorbikes attempting to turn right.

Staying safe and aware on the roads is crucial for pedestrian safety. It is observed that pedestrian fatality rate is higher in urban areas generally, mostly due to the increased pedestrian activity and traffic volumes as compared to that in rural areas. Therefore, it is important that you acquaint yourself with the pedestrian safety tips given above. In case you are involved in an accident due to a neglectful driver, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer.

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