When you take your daily walk(s), you likely seldom think about the risk of injury you face. After all, walking represents something virtually all of us constantly do from the time we reach the toddler stage.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, however, warns that upwards of 6,000 pedestrians die each year after a vehicle strikes them. You therefore need to practice proactive safety measures whenever and wherever you walk.
Safety precautions while walking
The NHSTA recommends the following while walking:
- Never talk or text on your cellphone.
- If you listen to music, keep your headset turned down so you can also hear traffic noises.
- Stay aware of your surroundings and alert to possible dangers.
- Never jaywalk; always cross streets at intersections and in a crosswalk if one exists.
- Always walk on the sidewalk if one exists; if not, walk as close as possible to the pavement’s edge facing oncoming traffic.
- Always wear bright, reflective closing so drivers can see you better.
Safety precautions while driving
Every time you drive, you bear responsibility for the pedestrians you may encounter. Consequently, the NHSTA recommends the following while driving:
- Stay alert for crosswalks and always yield to pedestrians in them.
- Stay alert for pedestrians unwisely darting into the street at odd places.
- Stay particularly alert whenever you drive in bad weather or at night.
- Never exceed the speed limit, especially in school zones and residential areas.
- Never drive after drinking or taking a prescription drug.
Bottom line, pedestrians always have the right-of-way, even when they engage in unwise actions. Nevertheless, do not rely on a driver’s good judgment when you walk. You risk losing your life if you do.