Recent data provided by Governors Highway Safety Association shows that pedestrian fatalities have increased by 10% between 2014 and 2015. Whether it was the car’s fault or the pedestrian’s fault, the facts stay the same. Neither were paying proper attention to the other. Because the car will always come out unscathed in a battle between vehicle and human, pedestrians need to learn the art of defensive walking and how to master the chaos of urban life. These tips are provided by the Road Safety Academy of the University of North Carolina.
Practice Defensive Walking
Try to anticipate what drivers will do. Take the weather conditions into account. Keep in mind that it will take drivers longer to stop on snowy roads and you’ll be less visible in rain or fog. Always assume that drivers don’t see you and pause a few seconds before proceeding on a cross walk. Cars may not be paying attention to you, but if you pay attention to them your chances of getting hit are far less likely. It’s easy to get complacent with the rules of the road, but staying cautious at all times could help prevent a run in with a car.
Make Yourself Visible
If you’re walking at dawn, dusk or night, wear light-colored clothing or something reflective. Also carry a flashlight if possible. Wearing dark clothing at night will make you nearly impossible to see. Walk in lit areas to if you don’t have a light or reflective gear to ensure that you are extra visible to drivers.
Make Sure You Can See Traffic
Always walk on the left side of the road so you can see oncoming traffic. Pay attention to what’s ahead. You may see a situation developing; for example, two cars on a narrow lane may bring one car close to you. Don’t assume everyone sees you all the time. Drivers have numerous things to watch out for. Their is a chance they may be dangerously busy on their phones or with other passengers. If they don’t watch out for you, be sure to watch out for them!
Play the Intersection Video Game
Think of intersections as a video game and you are the target. Check for cars before you step out. Wait for all the cars to pass, including ones in the far lanes. Don’t assume cars won’t run a red light, especially if they’re not slowing down. Never cross against a light or walk signal; drivers won’t be expecting that. Be especially careful to watch for drivers making left turns. Often times they are so focused on oncoming traffic that they fail to look ahead for pedestrians before accelerating across the intersection.
Watch for Drivers Backing Up
Drivers might be backing up in driveways, in parking lots or in parking spots on the street. Watch for motion and backup lights in all these places. You might be in the blind spot of a backing-up driver so move well out of the way until he’s done.
According to Bachus & Schanker Law, there is a common misconception that drivers are not at fault if they hit jaywalking pedestrians. The truth is that drivers may still be at fault. Avoid hit and run situations and harmful interactions that could turn fatal by implementing these street smart tips. Remember to look both ways and keep on the defensive when navigating the streets.