School is about to start, the sun is shining bright, and pedestrians are crawling the streets of Ventura County. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (2014), on average a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes [A]. Pedestrian safety is important knowledge for both drivers and pedestrians.
Take the following precautions while walking:
- Use crosswalks and intersections:
If available, utilize crosswalks and intersections to cross the street. It is important to stay on the designated sidewalks for pedestrians. If there is no access to a crosswalk, utilize a well-lit spot to cross.
- Avoid distractions while walking:
Make sure you stay alert of all your surroundings while walking. It is important that your smartphone and headphones do not distract you from your surroundings (yes, that includes not playing Pokémon Go). As a pedestrian, you must use your eyes and ears to stay safe.
- Make sure you are visible to drivers (especially at night):
Never assume you are visible to the driver. Make direct eye contact with drivers in stopped vehicles prior to crossing the street, ensuring they will allow you to cross. Wear bright or reflective clothing, especially at night and in rainy or foggy weather.
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol:
It is important to be fully aware of your surroundings as a pedestrian. It is also necessary to be able to follow rules and have unimpaired decision-making capabilities.
- Follow the rules of the road:
Be aware and follow pedestrian rules, such as when it is appropriate to cross the street. It is also important to have knowledge of general traffic rules, in order to anticipate what vehicles in the road will do next.
Remember – never assume a driver will give you the right of way.
Have a serious injury and need legal advice? Contact Howard Blau.