Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety

Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety

Walking is good for your health and better for the environment. Cities around the world are striving to be more walkable communities, but, pedestrians—people who travel by foot, wheelchair, stroller, or similar means—are among the most vulnerable users of the road.

Every day, 430 pedestrians will be treated in an emergency room for injuries (that’s seven pedestrians every minute) and every 2 hours, a pedestrian will die from injuries sustained in a crash. With numbers this high, it is important to understand the risks involved and learn how to stay safe as a pedestrian.

Every time you are on the road but not in a vehicle, you are a pedestrian. To stay safe, keep these tips in mind when out exercising, running errands, or enjoying a neighborhood walk:

  • Always walk on the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic.
  • Cross the street at designated crosswalks or intersections.
  • Obey pedestrian traffic signals and Walk/Don’t Walk signs.
  • Look left, look right, look left again before crossing a street and watch for turning vehicles.
  • Do not assume that drivers will see you and stop for you – even if you have the right of way.
  • Make eye contact and ensure that drivers see you if you are entering the roadway.
  • Keep clear of buses, hedges, parked cars, and other obstacles before crossing the street.
  • Avoid distractions like music, cell phones, or other electronic devices that take your attention off the road.
  • Do not wear headphones and play loud music – you may not be able to hear car engines, back-up alarms, or car horns.
  • If walking at night, increase your visibility by wearing brightly colored clothing or reflective material or carrying a flashlight.
  • Walk and cross in a well-lit area.
  • Walk sober. Walking while impaired increases your risk of getting hit by a car.

We all must share the road and do our part to keep our roadways safe so that drivers, bikers, and pedestrians alike can enjoy our communities and #LoveYourDrive.