Today, more and more people are opting to commute by foot – especially amid the pandemic. But whether you’re going for a jog or just crossing the parking lot, it’s important to remember that pedestrians are especially vulnerable to the dangers of the road.
Between 2009 and 2018, pedestrian fatalities rose a whopping 53% in the United States. In recognition of National Pedestrian Safety Month, here are the do’s and don’ts of navigating the streets as a pedestrian safely this October and beyond:
Don’t be unpredictable
Though pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere, a staggering 76% of pedestrian fatalities happened away from intersections or crosswalks in 2017. You should avoid crossing the street anywhere a driver wouldn’t expect you to dart out – especially if there are parked cars or other obstructions that may conceal you. If you must cross the street away from the crosswalk, look for vehicles in all directions and give yourself plenty of time to cross safely.
Do be mindful of the time of day
Not surprisingly, the highest percentage of pedestrian deaths occur between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., or when it’s dark outside. Less daylight means it will be more difficult for a driver to spot you on the road. If you’re walking at night, it’s a good idea to wear reflective clothing when possible or even carry a flashlight to ensure you are visible.
Don’t walk while you’re distracted
Multitasking while walking may seem harmless, but any distraction that takes your focus off the road can have deadly consequences. Texting or listening to music on your walk can prevent you from hearing or seeing your surroundings and put you at an increased risk of an accident.
Do teach your kids pedestrian safety
Sadly, almost one in every five pedestrian fatalities in 2017 was a child 14 years old or younger. It’s essential for parents to discuss the importance of staying alert as a pedestrian with their kids and practice good walking habits together to stay safe.
Everyone is a pedestrian at some point in their day. Taking these precautions can help ensure you and your family stay safe whenever you travel on foot.