For most people, the easiest and most available mode of locomotion, particularly for small distances, is walking. This also has the added benefit of being good for your health and wellbeing. It’s one of the most effective exercises for people at all levels of ability. When you are walking, you want to remain safe. Knowing these tips for pedestrian safety will help ensure that your jaunt will get you to your destination without accident or incident.

Statistics Regarding Pedestrian Safety

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that every day, over 400 people are treated in emergency facilities for traffic-related injuries. In the U.S., one pedestrian is involved in a fatal car accident every 1.6 hours.

The scope of the problem is huge. According to the National Traffic Safety Administration, 5,376 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in 2015. NPR cited a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which stated there was an 11% jump in pedestrian fatalities in 2016. The cause? Distraction. Distracted driving has increased roadway accidents by 6%. Pedestrian fatalities, however, rose nearly twice that much.

Safe Walking

Some areas will ticket you if you jay-walk, meaning, if you cross the street anyplace outside of the designated crosswalk. Crossing in the middle of the street puts you at more risk for getting hurt, due to the fact that motorists most likely will not be able to see you until it’s too late. Crossing within the crosswalk or at the intersection is always the best policy to ensure pedestrian safety.

Walking at night poses a serious problem, especially in poorly lit areas. Wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight, to increase your visibility. Always use the sidewalk, if possible, but if there is not one, then walk facing the traffic and on the far side of the shoulder.

Don’t take your attention off the road when you are walking; that makes you vulnerable. Distractions, such as texting while walking, can get you killed if you are walking in an area where vehicles are moving.

Safety Tips for Children

Children are especially vulnerable because they often don’t pay good attention to their surroundings and they can be impulsive when crossing the street. They also are known to run after balls that land in the street.

Instruct your children on how to be safe when crossing the street. Teach them about the dangers of running after a ball that goes into possible traffic. Make sure they learn to look both ways before crossing or going into the street to retrieve the ball or toy. Show your child how to use the pedestrian button for the crosswalk light at intersections where it’s available.

Teaching kids to be more aware of their surroundings and how to be safe when walking near moving vehicles is critical in lowering the accident rate of this most vulnerable group of pedestrians. Most pedestrian-related accidents can be avoided when people remain alert and walk with the intention of being safe.

At Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., we are determined to bring our friends, neighbors and clients information they can use to keep them safe and healthy. We are also committed to bringing our expertise and excellence to those who require legal assistance. We are the trial lawyers who care, so when you have a situation that calls for legal assistance, contact us via email or by phone.