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4 pedestrian safety tips to prevent car accidents

If you're frequently on foot -- whether it's walking around your neighborhood, walking in the city while getting to work or running your favorite jogging route -- you need to do everything you can to stay safe. That's because pedestrians are at a severe disadvantage if they get struck by a car.

Essentially, you don't stand a chance in a pedestrian versus car crash. However, following these four safety tips can help you prevent the majority of pedestrian-vehicle collisions:

  • Be seen: The less visible you are, the more likely you'll get hit. In fact, 32 percent of pedestrian versus car crashes happen between 8 p.m. and 12 a.m., so carry a flashlight or wear reflective gear when you're on foot at night.
  • Don't get distracted: The more alert you are to your surroundings, the better you'll be at dodging a collision. This means that you shouldn't be on your phone and you shouldn't be distracted by any electronic devices. Also, don't wear headphones. Stay as alert and attentive as possible.
  • Follow the law: Traffic rules, signals and signs apply to pedestrians just like they apply to vehicle drivers. Make sure you know the traffic laws, and know your responsibility as a pedestrian.
  • Use crosswalks and sidewalks: Use the areas of the road that are designated for pedestrian traffic. Vehicle drivers expect to find on you on the sidewalk and they expect to find you in crosswalks and at intersections. They don't expect to find you in the middle of the road. As such, you should only cross at sidewalk and intersections, and use sidewalks whenever possible. If no sidewalk is present, walk on the left-side shoulder of the road, facing traffic and as far away from traffic as possible.

When you follow these four tips, you dramatically decrease your chances of getting hurt as a pedestrian. However, if you still get hurt, you should know that you may be able to pursue financial compensation in court against a negligent or unlawful driver who causes you injury.

Source: AAA Exchange, "Tips for Pedestrian Safety," accessed Dec. 06, 2017

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