Can Pedestrians Increase Their Own Safety Around Traffic?

Pedestrians who walk or run near traffic face some serious risks. It’s incredibly important to take these seriously. Even if you’re in the right, like when crossing at a crosswalk with the walk signal, for instance, a crash could still lead to serious injuries. 

Part of the issue is that even low-speed crashes can be very dangerous for pedestrians. For instance, at a mere 23 miles per hour — under the limit in most residential areas — the risk of death is 10% for a pedestrian. At 42 miles per hour, that risk is 50%. There’s a 50/50 chance that you’ll lose your life in a crash at that speed, which is still far under the limit on many roads. 

How Can You Stay Safer When You’re Walking Somewhere?

Understanding the risk is the first step to staying safe. A few other things you can do include to increase your safety while walking include:

  • Always using crosswalks
  • Wearing lights and reflective clothes at night
  • Never walking in the street
  • Looking both ways before you cross
  • Not talking on the phone or listening to headphones
  • Avoiding alcohol use

Above all else, just err on the side of caution. Look for drivers who may run red lights. Assume others are going to make mistakes. Remember that it’s better to be overly cautious and avoid an accident than to strictly do what the law allows and put yourself in harm’s way. 

That said, if you are following the law and you get hit by a negligent driver, that’s not your fault. You need to know how to seek financial compensation for your injuries. An experienced advocate can defend your interests against the insurance companies involved and protect your rights.


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