In 2018, there were 6,283 people killed in traffic crashes. This number is higher than before. As a pedestrian (and we all are pedestrians sometimes!), you need to learn how to keep yourself safe. As a driver, you need to learn how to stay focused and avoid pedestrians.
What should pedestrians do?
A pedestrian should be visible and predictable. Bright colors help. Walking on sidewalks helps you be where drivers expect you to be, as does crossing at crosswalks. If you suddenly cut into the street, a driver may not see you in time enough to respond. If you do not have sidewalks, walk on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic. If there are no crosswalks, look all ways to make sure no traffic is coming, then cross when the street is empty.
Keep alert, music or texting may distract you. Watch for cars entering driveways and parking lots. Watch for cars backing up as well. Make eye contact with drivers, this helps make sure they see you. Avoid walking near traffic when impaired on alcohol or drugs, as these dull your responses and may lead to bad decision making.
What should drivers do?
Drivers need to be watching out for pedestrians, especially when it is dark, rainy, or otherwise hard to see. Slow when a crosswalk is coming and yield to pedestrians in that walk. They have the right of way. Do not drive under the influence, consequences are higher for you than for a pedestrian. Follow the speed limit and pay special attention to lower-speed areas, like school zones. Be double careful when backing up, walkers may not see what you are doing.
Every 88 seconds, a car crash killed a pedestrian in 2017. We all need to take responsibility for bringing this number down. If you have been hit by a car, a lawyer may help you determine your rights in the situation.