Tips to stay safe as a pedestrian

In most urban areas, congested traffic is common, and if you aren't paying close attention, can be dangerous for pedestrians. In rural areas, danger exists as well. Anywhere there's a distracted driver, a dim-lit or congested area, danger is present to pedestrians.

The question is, what can you do to protect yourself and limit your chances of being hit?

The three things to remember: be safe and be seen, be smart and alert and be careful when crossing.

  1. Be safe and be seen
    • Make yourself visible to drivers. Bright or light-colored clothing and reflective material can come in handy while walking, running or biking.
    • When walking at night in a dim-lit area, carry a flashlight.
    • When crossing the street, do so in a well-lit area.
    • Make sure drivers can see you. Stand clear of any obstacle that would hinder the driver's sight.
  2. Be smart and alert: Avoid dangerous behaviors
    • When available, walk on the sidewalk. If a sidewalk isn't available, walk facing traffic.  In North Carolina it is negligent for a pedestrian to walk in the roadway with his or her back to traffic.
    • Walking while impaired increases your chances of being hit
    • Make eye contact with drivers when crossing. Don't assume they'll stop. Distracted driving leads to missed signals.
    • Rely on your own sight when crossing the road. Pedestrian signals are not foolproof as drivers often speed through yellow lights and run red lights.
    • Be alert of vehicles in parking lots as well. Drivers will back up without notice.
  3. Be careful when crossing
    • When available, cross the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection.
    • Obey walk/don't walk pedestrian signals.
    • Look three times (left, right, left) before crossing the street.
    • Observe all lanes you'll be crossing before proceeding. Drivers won't always be aware of their surroundings.
    • When crossing the street, take off the earbuds and put down the phone.

If you do fall victim to an accident that causes an injury, feel free to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who will fight on your behalf.

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