Many people walk for pleasure and to add a daily period of exercise to their health regimen. However, there are some dangers associated with pedestrian activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that nearly 6,000 people died in 2017 as a result of pedestrian/vehicle accidents.
If you enjoy walking around your neighborhood or walk to work, understanding your risk factors for an accident may help you stay safe as you travel on foot.
The time of day
Most pedestrian accidents take place at dusk or after sundown, when it is often more difficult to see those on foot. A setting sun might also cause extreme glare and cause a driver to fail to see you in an intersection. You can lower the risk of an accident in several ways, including:
- Wearing reflective vests when you walk at night
- Walk on sidewalks or at the far edge of the shoulder, facing traffic
- Wear brightly-colored clothing
If you walk with your children, ensure they also wear reflective vests and that you cross the street in a group.
A pedestrian accident can happen anywhere but tend to occur more often in cities and other urban areas. Heavy traffic, speeding and driver inattention might all cause a dangerous incident for you while walking. To protect your safety, remain especially focused at crosswalks, in parking lots and at intersections. Avoid wearing headphones or texting in areas with lots of traffic and travel defensively.
Senior citizens and children face the greatest risk of injuries from a pedestrian accident. Accompany high-risk individuals on walks and keep toddlers especially close.
Remaining aware of your surroundings while on foot may help reduce the risk of injury. While you have the right to share the road with motorists, they may not always look out for you.