Take steps to be safe when walking on roadways. This includes exercising caution at intersections and crosswalks and increasing your visibility at night by wearing retro-reflective clothing and carrying flashlights.
Walking is good for your health, and it's good for the environment too. But before you head out on foot for a stroll, power walk, or errand, there are important safety tips to remember.
What's the problem?
Pedestrians—people who travel by foot, wheelchair, stroller, or similar means—are among the most vulnerable users of the road.
In the next 24 hours, on average, more than 460 people will be treated in an emergency department for traffic-related pedestrian injuries. In the next 2 hours, on average, one pedestrian will die from injuries in a traffic crash.
More than 4,200 pedestrians were killed in traffic deaths in 2010, and another 70,000 were injured.
With numbers like these, it's critical that you understand the risks and learn how to stay safe.
Safety Tips for Walkers
Always walk on the sidewalk.
If there is no sidewalk and you have to walk in the road, always walk facing traffic, so you can see any car that might go out of control.
Dress to be seen. Brightly colored clothing makes it easier for drivers to see you during the daytime. At night, you need to wear special reflective material on your shoes, cap or jacket to reflect the headlights of cars coming towards you.
Tips for Crossing the Street
Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
Stop at the curb, or the edge of the road.
Stop and look left, then right, then left again, before you step into the street.
If you see a car, wait until it goes by. Then look left, right and left again until no cars are coming.
If a car is parked where you are crossing, make sure there is no driver in the car. Then go to the edge of the car and look left-right-left until no cars are coming. Keep looking for cars while you are crossing, and remember, walk. Always walk.