Summer Safety Tips for Pedestrians

Summer Safety Tips for Pedestrians

6 Ways to Improve Pedestrian Safety

Summer is just around the corner, and for many families, this means spending a lot more time outdoors. The fresh air and warmer weather make perfect excuses to get kids out of the house and into more activities like going on walks or bike rides.

However, with more people outdoors and more cars on the roads during these breaks in the school year, pedestrian safety is of the utmost importance. Here are six tips for the whole family to stay safe when walking.

#1. Stay on the Sidewalk

If one is available, then staying on the sidewalk will always be a safer option than walking in the street. Not only does this provide a designated path for pedestrians to follow, but it can be easier to supervise children and dogs without having to worry about oncoming traffic.

In areas without available sidewalks, pedestrians are encouraged to walk against the flow of traffic and stay as far off the road as possible.

#2. Only Cross in Well-Lit Areas

Although most areas with sidewalks come equipped with streetlights, in rural or less-developed neighborhoods, visibility could become an issue. If needing to cross the street at any point, the pedestrian should aim to find the most well-lit space available with limited outside distractions and cross here. It’s also important to remember to double-check for oncoming traffic or drivers who may not be paying attention before crossing the street.

#3. Teach Children How to Use a Crosswalk Early On

One essential skill that any parent can teach their child is identifying and using a crosswalk, although the importance of this often goes overlooked. When children know what a crosswalk is, how it can keep them safe, and which signs and signals to look for in intersections with traffic lights, they can improve their safety from an early age.

When going on walks as a family, parents can model these behaviors. Here are some ways to teach crosswalk etiquette:

  • Stop at each intersection
  • Look for a marked crosswalk if one is available
  • Wait for the traffic lights to signal for pedestrians if available
  • Make eye contact with drivers if any are present
  • Look both ways twice before crossing the street

It is also recommended to hold the child’s hand when crossing the street—this can teach them to identify the right time to cross.

#4. Walk Sober

Everyone knows the importance of not drinking and driving, but walking sober is also vital to keep in mind. Far too many pedestrian accidents result from an intoxicated individual crossing the street without looking, falling in the roadway, or darting out between parked cars.

If out for the night with friends or spending time at someone’s home and consuming alcohol, a designated sober driver/walker can help keep everyone safe.

#5. Be Mindful When Walking At Night

An overwhelming percentage of pedestrian accidents occur at nighttime, and often, drivers will say this is because they were unable to see the pedestrian. While driver attention is important for pedestrian safety, there are simple ways to increase visibility. This can include:

  • Carrying a flashlight or wearing a headlamp
  • Wearing bright colors or reflective clothing
  • Attaching a light to your dog’s collar or leash
  • Staying in well-lit areas

#6. Limit Distractions

Just as drivers should limit the distractions in their vehicles, pedestrians should avoid walking while distracted. Texting, listening to loud music, running after a ball or animal, or any number of other things could inhibit a pedestrian and pose a significant risk to their safety. Even if it seems like something simple, dazing off and wandering in the street accidentally could have potentially fatal consequences.

The Seattle attorneys at Kornfeld Law are dedicated to helping pedestrians seek justice for the injuries caused by a negligent driver. If you or a loved one are seeking legal assistance for a pedestrian accident, schedule a free consultation by calling (425) 657-5255.


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