Walking near where cars drive means taking a little risk. Like with most drivers, most pedestrians get where they need to go without an injury. However, people in vehicles do hit pedestrians with some frequency in Florida.
Pedestrians can drastically reduce their risk of getting into a crash by following a few safety tips, especially if they need to cross the road or walk on the road in areas with heavy or fast-moving traffic.
Know where to walk
The first and most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to understand the right place to walk. Where there is a sidewalk available, stay on the sidewalk. Drivers will have to go over the curb before they can strike someone on the sidewalk, while they could easily strike someone on the road with little forewarning.
If there isn’t any sidewalk where you need to go, then you should walk facing traffic on the left-hand side of the road, as far over on the shoulder as possible.
Know where and when to cross
Ideally, you would only ever cross the road at marked crosswalks where vehicles have to let you cross. However, that could mean walking a block out of your way, which isn’t always realistic.
You should also err on the side of caution when gauging whether there is time for you to cross. It is better to wait a little longer and cross safely than to run the risk of a tragedy.
Make sure that the drivers notice you
Crossing at crosswalks and walking while facing traffic help make you more visible to drivers. This is crucial to your safety, as drivers failing to notice pedestrians is a leading cause of preventable pedestrian collisions.
If you frequently walk for exercise or to travel your neighborhood, visibility gear and bright colors or outfits that illuminate can help draw the eye of drivers and keep you safe. Making eye contact with drivers and always assuming they don’t see you can also help keep you safe.
Following safety tips can reduce your risk of a pedestrian crash and also make it harder for a driver to blame you if you do end up hurt.