Pedestrian safety is a serious issue in California, with lawmakers and residents from Los Angeles to San Francisco calling for better measures to prevent serious and often fatal auto accidents involving citizens on foot. In fact, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration reports 867 pedestrian fatalities in California car accidents in 2016, more than in any other state.
If you frequently walk in areas with vehicle traffic, keep these four tips in mind to avoid auto accident injury.
- Follow the laws
Lawmakers designed traffic regulations for both drivers and pedestrians. Adhere to laws such as staying in the designated crosswalk and crossing only on the correct signal. Even in areas without a traffic light, cross at an intersection or at a location where you are easily visible to approaching drivers.
If a sidewalk is available, use it. In areas without a sidewalk, travel facing traffic and stay as far away from the roadway as possible.
- Do not drink and walk
Alcohol and drug use can limit your ability to travel safely on foot as well as behind the wheel. NHTSA data indicates that about 1 in 3 fatal pedestrian crashes, the person walking had a blood alcohol level above the legal driving limit of 0.08%.
- Remain alert
Avoid using electronic devices and/or wearing headphones while walking in a busy area. Distraction increases your risk of being hit by a car. If possible, do not walk at night. Not only are pedestrian deaths more common after the sun goes down, but you may also feel exhausted and thus impaired as it gets late.
- Stay visible
Remain in well-lit areas wherever possible. Wear bright colors to increase your visibility during the day. At night, carry a flashlight and/or wear reflective clothing. Make eye contact with approaching drivers so you know that they see you.
Whether you walk on your regular commute or occasionally for exercise, you are responsible for your safety. These four tips will decrease your risk of involvement in a car accident.