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5 Ways to Avoid an Accident as a Pedestrian

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 6,516 pedestrians were killed in car accidents in 2020. That’s one pedestrian killed every 81 minutes. 

In the same year, there were 104,000 emergency department visits by pedestrians treated for non-fatal crash-related injuries according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Interestingly, adults over the age of 65 and children under the age of 15 account for the most pedestrian deaths. But whether or not you fit one of these demographics, you don’t want to become part of another statistic. 

Pedestrian accidents are usually caused by pedestrian or driver negligence. If you aren’t sure who’s at fault—and the accident was in Vernon, CT—it’s best to consult an experienced Vernon pedestrian accident attorney.

Otherwise, you want to try to avoid getting into an accident altogether. So here are some things you can do to limit your risk of getting hit by a car while walking:

  • Increase your visibility

If drivers can’t see you, you’re more likely to get hit. So wear bright clothing whenever possible. 

If you’re out at night, consider wearing reflective clothing and bringing a flashlight or headlamp. And if you’re walking your dog, you may also want to get a reflective leash or collar for them.

Make yourself more visible to drivers so they have more time to slow down when they see you.

  • Use the sidewalk and crosswalk

Sidewalks and crosswalks are designated paths for pedestrians. Use them.

Drivers aren’t expecting people to be on the street or to cross at random places. If you do, you may surprise them and leave them little to no time to react.

Of course, some areas don’t have sidewalks or crosswalks. If there’s no sidewalk and you must walk on the road, walk on the side that’s facing traffic so you can see oncoming vehicles and have more time to react to them.

If there’s no crosswalk, an intersection is the next best place for crossing because drivers are already preparing to yield to other vehicles. Just make sure to always look both ways beforehand.

  • Avoid distractions

Avoid distractions while walking. That means don’t wear headphones or look down at your phone. Such behavior lowers your reaction time, putting you in dangerous situations.

Keep in mind that car drivers are often distracted themselves. So stay extra vigilant to avoid getting into an accident with one.

  • Don’t use alcohol or drugs

Using alcohol or drugs is never a good idea, but this is especially true as a pedestrian. Alcohol and drugs impair your judgment (which lowers your reaction time) and makes you more reckless. Drugs might even cause you to have hallucinations. 

All of this is extremely dangerous when you’re near traffic. So if you’re under the influence, make sure you have a designated driver or call a taxi or Uber to take you home. You’ll be glad you did.

  • Walk defensively

Lastly, walk defensively. This means staying aware of your surroundings and making safety you’re top priority. That includes following all traffic laws, signs, and signals. 

Pedestrians must follow the rules of the road just as drivers must. If you don’t, you’re more likely to get hit by a car. Remember, drivers aren’t always looking out for pedestrians, so it’s up to you to keep yourself safe. 

Some pedestrian accidents are unavoidable, but if you follow these tips, your chances of getting into one are much lower.