Although distracted driving is a leading cause of pedestrian accidents, it is out of your control as a pedestrian. When you want to take your safety into your own hands, you need to recognize the most common causes of accidents for pedestrians.
These are a few common causes of accidents to watch out for when walking.
1. Disobeying traffic signals
Just as drivers must obey traffic signals, pedestrians must obey them as well. Crossing a street without a clear traffic signal indicating that you may do so can result in the risk of a pedestrian accident. Use crossing signals and cross in the crosswalks to ensure your safety. Additionally, before stepping into the crosswalk, make sure that traffic has stopped.
2. Misunderstanding right-of-way
A common misconception is that pedestrians automatically get the right-of-way anywhere they cross. This is not true. You have the right-of-way only when indicated by a crossing or traffic signal. Without the signal and crosswalk, vehicles have the right of way. Be mindful of when and where you cross the street and yield to the oncoming cars to reduce your risk of an accident.
3. Walking at night
Walking at night is dangerous in some areas, especially with minimal street lights and poor visibility. Avoid walking after dusk when possible. If you have no other option, improve visibility by wearing light-colored, reflective clothing. Poor visibility in the dark puts you at greater risk of an accident with a vehicle on the road, so be cautious and attentive.
Recognizing the common mistakes that increase your risk of a pedestrian accident makes it easier to stay safe when you walk.