Pedestrians are vulnerable road users, and their safety is a shared responsibility. Whether you’re walking or driving, taking proactive measures to mitigate risks can help keep everyone safe.
In this article, we’ll discuss key points to enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Walking Safely as a Pedestrian
When available, sidewalks are the safest place to walk in terms of pedestrian safety. If there’s no sidewalk, walk facing road traffic, staying as far left as possible while exercising extreme caution. Avoid walking on freeways and restricted zones to reduce the risk of traffic fatalities.
Wear light-colored clothing and consider garments with reflective materials is a great way of improving safety. In low-light areas, carry a flashlight to improve visibility for yourself and others.
Remain vigilant at all times and avoid obstructing your vision with clothing or distractions, such as using your cell phone. Keep your focus on your environment and abide by posted signs.
Avoid alcohol and drugs
Alcohol, drugs, or certain medications can significantly impact your ability to walk safely and make sound decisions. Understand the potential side effects of any medication you’re taking.
Cross streets at corners
While it may be tempting to jaywalk, most pedestrian injuries and many pedestrian fatalities occur when crossing streets in these mid-block situations. Use designated crosswalks and traffic signals—especially in high-traffic areas.
Look both ways
Prior to crossing, thoroughly check for oncoming traffic—left, right, and left again. Keep your eyes open as you cross and be aware that drivers of motor vehicles may not see you, even if you see them.
Be cautious at intersections
Exercise additional caution at intersections, as some drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way when turning. If there’s a pedestrian signal, follow it rather than the traffic signal.
Avoid phone use while walking
Texting or using your phone while walking can be highly distracting and impede your ability to observe traffic and obstacles. Stay focused on your surroundings by avoiding cellphone use entirely.
Watch out for parked vehicles
Parking lots pose risks as drivers often have limited visibility when backing out. Exercise extra caution, as drivers may not expect pedestrians and require heightened attention.
Driving Safely to Protect Pedestrians
Be aware of children
Children can be impulsive and may suddenly dart into the street. Adhere to the speed limit, particularly in residential neighborhoods and school zones.
Yield to pedestrians
When making a turn and waiting for traffic, be aware that pedestrians may be crossing your path—they always have the right of way.
Approach driveways and alleys cautiously
These areas can be challenging to spot pedestrians entering or exiting. Exercise extra caution, and approach them at slower speeds if visibility is compromised.
Paying full attention to the road is paramount to spot pedestrians. Avoid using a mobile, eating, talking to passengers, reading maps, or changing radio stations while driving. Pre-set your destination if using a navigation app.
Approach crosswalks with care
If a pedestrian or bicyclists are in or about to enter a crosswalk, allow sufficient space for them to cross safely. Ensure drivers in other lanes also have time to yield. Do not attempt to pass vehicles that have stopped for pedestrians.
Follow speed limits
Adhering to speed limits enhances your ability to observe and watch for pedestrians, adjust speed to curves or objects in the roadway, and avoid dangerous situations. Plan ahead and allocate extra time for your journey, and if running late, consider notifying others.
Never drink and drive
Alcohol compromises cognitive ability and responsiveness, substantially increasing the risk of accidents and harming pedestrians. Always arrange for a sober driver or alternative transportation if you have consumed alcohol.
Remember, maintaining awareness of your surroundings while in transit is crucial regardless of your mode of transportation.
Overview of Bicycling Laws
As with any mode of transportation, cyclists also have bicycling laws they should follow to ensure the safety of fellow road users. These laws are intended to protect the safety of bicyclists and vehicle operators on the roadways.
Use Bike Lanes
Whenever available, cyclists should use designated bike lanes and ride in the same direction as traffic.
Cyclists must yield to pedestrians and follow all traffic laws applicable to vehicles. When entering a road from a driveway or intersection, cyclists must yield to oncoming traffic.
Cyclists should use hand signals to indicate turns or stops. They must also obey traffic signal rules and come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs.
Bicycles operated at night must be equipped with front and rear lights, as well as reflectors, to enhance visibility and promote safety.
In many jurisdictions, it is mandatory for cyclists to wear helmets to ensure their safety while riding.
It is important for both pedestrians and cyclists to familiarize themselves with and adhere to their local pedestrian and bicycle laws. These laws aim to protect pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists who share the road. By complying with these laws, we can create a safer and more harmonious environment for all users.
Please note that laws and regulations may vary depending on your location. Therefore, it is recommended to consult the traffic laws specific to your jurisdiction for the most accurate information.
Overview of Pedestrian Laws
Pedestrian Laws aim to protect the safety of pedestrians and cyclists when sharing the road with vehicles.
Though these laws can vary by jurisdiction, they generally cover the following:
Jaywalking refers to crossing the street at non-designated areas such as mid-blocks. It is often illegal and can result in fines. Pedestrians should use designated areas to cross for their own safety.
Pedestrians must follow traffic signals at intersections. They should only cross the road when the pedestrian signal indicates it is safe and must obey “don’t walk” signals.
Pedestrians are expected to use sidewalks when they are available. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
Intoxicated pedestrians may face penalties and fines. Walking under the influence of alcohol or drugs can endanger personal safety as well as vehicle traffic.
Cyclist and Pedestrian Accidents: File For Compensation Claim
If you have been in a road accident, regardless of the mode of transport used, contact The Jones Firm.
With an expert road accident attorney at your side, you can get the compensation you deserve!