The 4 Precautions Every Pedestrian Should Take to Stay Safe

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The most overlooked aspect of road safety concerns pedestrians. Maybe because walking comes so naturally to us we tend to take its’ safety for granted. The truth is that when walking along a roadway, pedestrians are placing themselves at great risk. The best way for a pedestrian to make sure they reach their destination safely is to focus on prevention. When sharing the roadway while on foot, pedestrians should take the following four precautions:

  1. Prepare before departing. It is a good idea to plan out the safest walking route from point A to point B. Whenever possible, stick to roads that have sidewalks (or at least broad shoulders), are well lit, have slower speed limits, and don’t have a lot of traffic. When walking after dark, wear bright, reflective clothing and carry a light. 
  2. Know the rules. Pedestrians should follow the rules of the road to make their walk safer. Stay on the sidewalk, if there is one. If not, stay as far to the side of the road as is safely possible. Walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic. Cross at crosswalks, intersections, or corners and obey all pedestrian crossing signals. 
  3. Watch for traffic. It’s best for pedestrians to act as if drivers do not see them. We all know about the problem of distracted driving. There are also a lot of times when a driver is focused on other cars and misses a pedestrian. Watch for cars that are backing up. When crossing in front of a car, make eye contact with the driver. 
  4. Walk defensively. Just like how drivers should practice defensive driving, pedestrians should practice defensive walking. Stay alert! Walking in traffic is not the time to be texting or surfing the Web. Try to anticipate what drivers are going