Pedestrian Safety Tips

Pedestrian Safety Tips

Close to 1,000 pedestrians in California lost their lives in traffic fatalities in 2020, while Los Angeles holds an alarming second place in the list of deadliest U.S. cities for pedestrians. Distracted drivers, busy roads, and motorists who exceed speed limits add to the toll of pedestrian deaths.

Although the law instructs motorists to drive carefully and follow the speed limit, especially in residential neighborhoods and school zones, pedestrians have a shared responsibility to stay alert and practice safe walking when they cross streets.

The following pedestrian safety tips can protect your life and help create a more secure road environment for drivers and pedestrians alike.

Stay Alert

Paying proper attention while crossing the street is the first and simplest way to promote pedestrian safety. To make sure you pass safely, you should:

  • Stop before a crosswalk and look right and left to spot oncoming traffic
  • Limit cell phone use while you cross streets; never cross while looking at a screen
  • When crossing areas with poor visibility, keep watching for oncoming vehicles or cars exiting driveways
  • Finally, remember that while the law obligates drivers to give you the right of way, staying safe is paramount. It’s better to let a careless or rushing driver pass and delay crossing by a few minutes than risk your life.

Make Yourself Visible

Even the most careful motorist may miss you, especially if you’re walking after dark or in a fog. To make it easier for drivers to see you, make sure you:

  • Look for a well-lit area for crossing whenever possible
  • Wear light-colored clothing, especially if you’re walking at night
  • If you know you’ll be walking in areas with poor lighting or visibility, pick brightly colored clothing made of reflective materials
  • Try to make eye contact with drivers as you cross

Obey Traffic Signals and Signs

Just as drivers have a duty to obey posted speed limits and put their best effort toward pedestrian safety, pedestrians must follow the local rules and crossing signals. Specifically, you should:

  • Use marked crosswalks and make sure you stop before you cross to give motorists a chance to see you
  • If a crosswalk includes a traffic signal, wait for the green light, even if the road seems empty
  • Keep an eye out for relevant traffic signs, like those prohibiting pedestrian crossing or instructing pedestrians to cross with caution

Although California has recently legalized jaywalking when there’s “no immediate danger,” we strongly advise against it. It may be hard to judge when jaywalking becomes a serious safety hazard, so stick to marked crosswalks whenever possible.

Walk Facing Traffic if a Sidewalk Is Unavailable

While sidewalks are the safest places for pedestrians, if a sidewalk is unavailable and you must walk along a road shoulder, do so while facing traffic.

If you walk in the same direction the traffic moves, vehicles come from behind you, so you may miss a potential hazard like a speeding or careless driver. If you walk facing oncoming traffic, you’ll be able to see approaching cars better.

Teach Children To Walk Safely

As a parent in California, you may worry about your children’s safety as they cross. When crossing the street with your children, take this opportunity to educate them about pedestrian safety and set a positive example by acting as a responsible pedestrian yourself.

Specifically, teach your children to:

  • Avoid using their cell phone as they cross the road
  • Make eye contact with drivers in approaching vehicles
  • Stop before crossing and never step onto a road without looking right and left
  • Use properly marked and regulated crossing areas

What To Do if a Traffic Accident Still Happens

What if you do your best to cross safely but still find yourself in a traffic accident? After getting the necessary medical care, one of the first things you should do is call a pedestrian accident lawyer. If your accident was due to a motorist’s negligence, you might have grounds for a personal injury claim.

A pedestrian accident attorney can:

  • Assess your case and let you know how much your claim may be worth
  • Help you gather relevant supporting evidence to build a strong claim
  • Handle all communication with the at-fault motorist’s insurance company and lawyer
  • Take care of the entire claim process and work hard to negotiate a reasonable settlement
  • Protect your rights and represent you in the courtroom if necessary

Khalil Law Group: Dedicated Legal Representation for Injured Pedestrians and Their Families in Orange County, CA

Even if you follow all imaginable pedestrian safety tips, traffic crashes and accidents involving pedestrians may still happen. If you suffer injuries in a pedestrian accident in Orange County, contact us at Khalil Law Group. Our experienced pedestrian accident lawyers will evaluate your case and support you throughout the personal injury claim process.

Call (714) 617-7870 or contact us online 24/7 for a free consultation with a pedestrian accident attorney in Orange County, CA.