Negligent drivers injure and kill hundreds of pedestrians every year. As a pedestrian, you can take some proactive measures to minimize, if not avoid, the possibility of getting hit:
Put your phone away – Distracted walking can be as dangerous as distracted driving. Keep your head up and look both ways while you cross the street or as you walk through a parking lot.
Take the earbuds out of your ears – Listening to loud music, talk radio or audiobooks while walking can drown out the sound of approaching vehicles.
Cross the street only at marked crosswalks – Many, though not all, drivers slow down or stop at crosswalks that are clearly marked. The extra time you take to cross legally could help you avoid an accident. If you are hit in a crosswalk, it may be easier to prove negligence in a personal injury lawsuit.
Where white or lighter clothes at night – This can help drivers see you as they approach. Take a flashlight along when you’re out strolling after the sun goes down.
Look out for careless drivers – Practice the art of defensive walking. Look out for vehicles approaching from the front, from behind, and both sides.
Don’t walk in the street – Walk on the sidewalk or a path whenever possible. If you do have to walk in the street, walk facing oncoming traffic. Stay as close to the edge of the street as possible, and step off the street when vehicles approach.
Watch out for cars backing up – Drivers who are backing out of driveways or parking places may have limited or obstructed vision. Stop walking when you see a driver backing up, and if necessary, get out of the way.
Look out for second cars and cars in other lanes – When you’re crossing a multi-lane street, take care to see cars following the lead driver in each lane, as well as vehicles in the second or third lanes.
Bicyclists pose dangers too – Serious injuries can happen when bicyclists and pedestrians cross paths. Be on the alert for a bicyclist approaching from the front, rear or sides, because that bicyclist may be focusing on avoiding a collision with vehicles, not pedestrians.
Following these simple rules could help you avoid a serious accident. But keep in mind this important legal principle: if you are the victim of a negligent driver or bicyclist, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical costs, lost income and other losses.