Whether you’re running an errand, going to a friend’s house, or just taking a stroll, traveling on foot is always a healthy and environmentally-friendly option to get you from A to B. In large cities every day, bustling sidewalks practically overflow with pedestrians rushing to their various destinations, while in small towns and other low-population areas, you may see only a few people waiting to cross a street at a time. Regardless of the setting, pedestrians are always at risk for injury. Any public area can pose dangers to pedestrians, including traffic accidents, construction sites, inclement weather, and infrastructure defects. Unfortunately, the chance of an accident occurring in high-traffic intersections and roadways where motor vehicles are operated can be more a question of “when” than “if.” In light of the inherent danger involved in traveling as a pedestrian (particularly on dense roadways) the difference between being well-advised and not can save your life if a crisis or an emergency situation should occur. Please review the following points to help you act safely and responsibly as a pedestrian:
- Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk on the shoulder facing traffic, as far from the traffic as possible.
- Avoid being distracted by your phone or other electronic devices.
- Cross the street at crosswalks whenever possible; this is where drivers expect pedestrians to be crossing.
- Wear bright-colored or reflective clothing at all times, and use a flashlight at night.
- Avoid walking after consuming alcohol (about 34% of pedestrians involved in fatal crashes have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 g/dL or higher).