While drivers must always watch for pedestrians, people should also take responsibility for their safety while walking near busy roadways.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, in 2021, 7,485 pedestrians died after being hit by a vehicle. Since pedestrians can not control how drivers handle their vehicles, they can follow these tips to decrease their chances of getting hit by a car.
1. Stay on pedestrian pathways
Crosswalks and sidewalks allow pedestrians to share the roads safely with cars. Drivers expect to find pedestrians in these areas and should be more aware of them in these locations. However, when people cross roadways outside of crosswalks or walk in the street instead of on sidewalks, drivers may not expect them there. As a result, it might be difficult for drivers to avoid hitting pedestrians.
2. Be visible
Drives often focus on the vehicles in front of them, not nearby pedestrians. Walkers should make themselves eye-catching by wearing brightly colored clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night.
3. Avoid walking while impaired
Consuming alcohol or drugs can impede pedestrians’ ability to remain safe. An intoxicated person might:
- Have difficulty with balance and fall into the street
- Not be aware of their surroundings and walk into traffic
- Pass out near the roadway
According to a 2020 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, 47% of automobile versus pedestrian accidents involved intoxicated pedestrians. While walking is a better option than driving drunk, people who choose to get intoxicated should consider getting a ride home.
By being proactive about their safety, pedestrians may improve their odds of avoiding accidents with motor vehicles.