According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, we can see that there were more than 10,000 total pedestrian injuries across the state during the most recent reporting year of data on file. Unfortunately, pedestrians involved in these incidents often suffer severe injuries, so it is crucial to take steps to prevent these incidents from occurring in the first place. Here, we want to review some basic pedestrian safety tips that are important for individuals of all ages.
Walking Safely – NHTSA Style
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has some ideas about pedestrian safety, and they rightfully should. During the most recent year reported by the agency, more than 6,500 pedestrians lost their lives in crashes across the country, so it is in the federal government and California government’s best interest to take the steps necessary to increase pedestrian safety.
Pedestrians are often in control of their own fate when it comes to walking on or around the roadway. Even though drivers have a responsibility to yield the right of way in many circumstances, pedestrians should practice their own form of “defensive walking” in order to best ensure their safety. The NHTSA offers the following guidelines for pedestrian safety:
- Walk on a sidewalk. If there is a sidewalk or some other type of pedestrian pathway available, pedestrians need to take it. These sidewalks typically create a buffer between individual bodies and moving traffic. If there is no sidewalk, individuals should walk facing traffic and as far away from the vehicles as possible.
- Cross at marked crosswalks or intersections. Pedestrians should only cross the street at intersections or crosswalks when possible. This is where drivers most expect to see pedestrians, and they will be most alert. If neither option is available, we encourage pedestrians to find a well-lit area and wait for traffic to become clear enough to cross safely.
- Always remain alert. Pedestrians must always remain aware of their surroundings. This includes listening and looking on a constant basis.
- Do not walk while impaired. Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is dangerous, and so is walking while impaired by alcohol or drugs. We are not saying don’t walk at all while impaired, but individuals need to avoid walking around moving vehicles when they are intoxicated.
- Keep the headphones out. A significant number of individuals who walk on or around the roadway also have their headphones in. However, listening to anything through the headphones while walking limits a person’s ability to hear any approaching vehicles or hazards. If individuals are going to wear headphones, they should wear ones that can be programmed so the listener can also hear their surroundings.
- Do not assume drivers see you. Pedestrians should never assume that drivers on the roadway see them. The only way to be sure that a driver sees you when you are walking is to make eye contact with the driver, as this is a sort of acknowledgment of existence.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by the negligence of another driver, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled attorney for help today. A Santa Ana pedestrian lawyer can investigate every aspect of your crash and work to recover any compensation you are entitled to.