Health Literacy

Top Safety Tips for Pedestrians

Pedestrians Safety

Pedestrians are killed on roads throughout the world. It’s a fact. While drivers are often the guilty parties, we can’t attribute all blame to them.

The simple fact is that many of us don’t adhere to traffic safety rules. We’re all pedestrians now and again and responsible for our safety. Here are some safety tips to consider when traveling on foot.

Cross the Road Where Signalled

These marked areas are easy to spot and hard to miss with signage on the road and at eye level. You still need to be careful when crossing at a crosswalk, however. Drivers may not always stop to allow you to cross, or might not stop for long enough.

Look both ways before crossing, walk briskly, and don’t take time to admire the scenery on the way!

Be Noticeable

The best way to ensure that you’re visible to vehicles is to wear bright colors. We tend to use dark shades during colder weather, making it harder for drivers to see us. Try to avoid these colors when walking, particularly at night, when visibility is lower.

Wearing a reflective vest or band once it’s dark or using a flashlight are useful ways to prevent an accident. At other times when visibility is low, like in a heavy mist or fog, or on rainy days, it’s just as important to ensure that drivers can see you. Reflective aids can be useful at times like these.

Remain Alert

If you’re alert as a pedestrian, you can avoid accidents even if the driver is inattentive. Pay attention to the road, listen to the sounds around you, and watch where you’re walking. Wearing a jacket or top with the hood up can reduce your vision and ability to hear.

It’s best to avoid texting while walking, particularly if you’re crossing a road. Listening to music and talking on the phone are less dangerous, but still a threat to your safety as a pedestrian. It’s so easy to get distracted by electronic devices. A split second of looking away could be the difference between you reaching your destination safely or not at all.

Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and drugs impair your judgment and ability to act quickly. You take more risks, act irresponsibly, and aren’t able to see the threats in dangerous situations when under the influence of substances.

A recent report conducted in the United States showed that 33% of all pedestrians killed in the past ten years had a blood alcohol level of 0.008% or higher. It’s an alarming statistic, and other countries around the world have similar situations. As important as it is not to drive when under the influence, it’s as important not to walk.

Stay Safe

Life’s busy, and it’s hard to remain vigilant when there’s always so much to think of. Distractions hit us at every turn, but we need to be alert, careful, and obey the rules of the road as a pedestrian. If we don’t, one day the mistake may be fatal.

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Danuta Smoluk is a teacher with over three decades of experience teaching both children and adults. She specializes in teaching the Polish language to English-speakers. She has a master's degree in primary and early childhood education from WSP Słupsk (currently Pomeranian University in Słupsk) and had her degree validated by University of Toronto. Aside from education, she also has an interest in real estate and home improvement. She has planned and supervised many house renovations. She loves interior design, cooking, and gardening.

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